Third-party Funded Research Projects

Ongoing Projects

Maria Sibylla Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences - Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS) 2019-2025.

Coping with Crises”. How do societies in Latin America solve crises? This question is the focus of the Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS), which is being established since 2017 with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with its headquarters in Guadalajara/ Mexico. After a successful evaluation and the approval of further € 12 million, the project is in its main phase (2019-2025). CALAS is the most extensive research project concerning Latin America ever subsidised by federal funds.

Project leaders on the German side are Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky from the Centre for Atlantic and Global Studies (CAGS), Prof. Dr. Olaf Kaltmeier (University of Bielefeld), Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Burchardt (University of Kassel), and Prof. Dr. Claudia Hammerschmidt from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. As an international and interdisciplinary pioneer, CALAS sets new accents in humanities and social science research in Latin America. The institute strives to promote top-level research and permanently network Latin American and German scientists.

In May 2019, the first Laboratory of Knowledge started investigating the transition between violence and peace in Latin America. Project leaders are Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky, Prof. Dr. Joachim Michael (Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. David Díaz and Prof. Dr. Werner Mackenbach, both from the University of Costa Rica (UCR). The aim is not to conduct research on Latin Americans, but to work with them on a top scientific level to develop new - including transregional scientific - approaches to problem solving in practice. The establishment of the CALAS-Merian center in Guadalajara by the four German project sponsors takes place in close networking with the CALAS regional centers in San José/ Costa Rica, Buenos Aires/ Argentina and Quito/ Ecuador. The representatives of the Leibniz Universität Hannover together with the colleagues of the UCR form the regional center "Central America and the Caribbean". With this decentralised constellation, CALAS is supposed to resonate all over Latin America.

Like hardly any other world region in the global south, Latin America is characterised by the creative search for cultural and political strategies to overcome multiple crises, which accompany social change and show new development paths. However, the societies of the continent are neither free of conflicts, nor are developments linear and planned, rather they are frequently associated with crises. The interdisciplinary project network will examine the current problems of Latin American societies, their North-South interdependence, historically in depth and with a view to the dynamic social change that these constellations have triggered in the 21st century. The causes of crises and the coping strategies will be the focus between 2019 and 2025 from other points of view:

o   Social inequalities and their challenges

o   Socio-ecological transformation and environmental protection

o   Regional identities / identity formation processes

Since 2019, up to 20 renowned international Latin American scientists will work as fellows at the same time at the CALAS headquarters in Guadalajara and in the regional centers in Latin America on concepts and research questions. CALAS also establishes postgraduate programmes and organises international conferences and workshops in Guadalajara and the regional locations in Latin America and Germany.


ConnecCaribbean/Connected Worlds: The Caribbean, Origin of the Modern World

Funding: European Union Horizon/ MSCA
Participants: : Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky, Latin American History, History Department, PD Dr. Ulrike Schmieder, Latin American History, History Department, Natascha Rempel, M.A., Romanic Literature Cultural Studies, Institute of Romance Languages

In cooperation with PD Dr. Ulrike Schmieder (History Department) and Natascha Rempel M.A. (Institute of Romance Languages), Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky (History Department) participates as project leader in the international and interdisciplinary joint project “ConnecCaribbean”. Since January 2019, this project is funded for four years with a sum of 1.9 Million Euros.

The project title “Connected Worlds: The Caribbean, Origin of the Modern World” points out the Caribbean as a geopolitical space which is manifoldly interlinked within but also beyond the Atlantic World. Through an abundance of activities and guest residences, this project offers the opportunity for international scientifical networking: 84 professors and researchers in the field of Caribbean Studies from 15 different universities are involved.

In Europe
Spain: Agencia Estatal del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CISC), Madrid (project coordination); Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla; Universidad de Sevilla; Ediciones Doce Calles, Madrid;
Germany: Leibniz Universität Hannover
France: IHEAL-Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris
Italy: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan

In Latin America and the Caribbean
Dominican Republic: Centro de Estudios Caribeño-Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, Santo Domingo
Cuba: Academia de la Historia de Cuba, La Habana
Costa Rica: Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de América Central (CIHAC)-Universidad de Costa Rica, San José
Colombia: Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla; Universidad Nacional del Magdalena, Santa Marta
Puerto Rico: Universidad del Turabo-SUAGM, Gurabo
Chile: Departamento de Literatura, Centro de Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos (CECLA)-Universidad de Chile, Ñuñoa
France: Laboratoire Caribéen de Sciences Sociales - Université des Antilles, Martinique.

The researchers involved in ConnecCaribbean study the connections between the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. With an interdisciplinary and transregional approach, they work on topics which shape the Atlantic World since 1492 and understand the region as a junction connecting different worlds. The region is characterised by its ethnic diversity in post-emancipation societies and its intrinsic racism, by the impact of imperial politics, which also produced a resistance culture, and by its intense circulation of knowledge and pictures within and beyond the regional boundaries.

In the colonial period, as the Caribbean was dominated by European authorities, the region was – though far from the political centres of power of the mother countries –, through the cultivation of sugar, coffee, cocoa and indigo, a significant driving force for a new, capitalistic economic framework. The wealth of this new economic framework was based on slavery, on land ownership and capital in Europe, as well as on profitable transatlantic trade. Therefore, the origins of our modern world are to be placed in the Caribbean.

But European expansion and colonialism are also to be placed at the beginning of the formation of new cultures, new ways of life and new identities: over the course of the centuries, Europeans met indigenous people and brought Africans and Asians into the region. As a result, a variety of different impulses and forces and a variety of agents with different concerns was formed. This diversity coined the economic, political, social and cultural relations between the different islands and with the continental mainland, from the Guyanas to the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan and Florida, through the isthmus of Panama to the pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador. Until today, the Caribbean is tightly integrated into the framework of the American continent, Europe and the rest of the world.

Over the course of the next four years, the Centre for Atlantic and Global Studies (CAGS) will welcome guest scientists from Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Together, ideas and scientific approaches will be developed and discussed and new joint projects will be drawn up. 

Further information about the project can be found here.

A video with a description of the project in Spanish is provided here.


The symposium “Dealing with Violence - Resolving Conflicts in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean” will take place from July 25 to July 27, 2022 at the conference centre Schloss Herrenhausen, Hannover.

Funding: Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung)
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky, Latin American History, History Department
Further Applicants: Prof. Dr. Brigitte Reinwald, African History, History Department,
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gabbert, Cultural Anthropology and World Society, Institute of Sociology

Completed Projects

"Zwischen machismo und Befreiung. Die sandinistische Revolution und die bundesdeutsche Nicaragua-Solidaritätsbewegung 1978-1991. Eine genderspezifische Perspektive"

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Researcher: Friederike Appelt M.A.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christine Hatzky