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Research and Fellows

The main areas of research in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the LAI are visual and media anthropology, anthropology of migration, gender studies, heritage studies, political anthropology, ethnology of sport as well as sociolinguistics and linguistics specialized in indigenous languages. These areas contribute to the interdisciplinary research profile of the LAI: “Latin America: Entanglements, Asymmetries, Im/Mobilities”. The research projects focus on transnational, transregional and translocal entanglements as well as the epistemologies and historicities upon which they build. On the one hand they form Latin America’s past, long before the European invasion of the continent, and on the other hand the present age.

These research interests also find an expression in the current doctoral projects. Cultural and Social Anthropology trains Ph.D. students at the International Research Training Group "Temporalities of Future in Latin America. Dynamics of Aspiration and Anticipation", “Between Spaces. Movements, Actors and Representations of Globalization” (2009-2018), and the interdisciplinary Brazil Research Center of the LAI.

The results of research are regularly presented to peers at the congresses of the German Society of Anthropology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie), the Society of Ethnography (Gesellschaft für Ethnographie), the European Association of Social Anthropologists, the Latin American Studies Association and the International Congresses of Americanists.

Current projects:

  • The collaborative research project “Shared Soundscapes: Music Revivals and Identity Politics in Peru” deals with shared soundscapes that emerge when local music and dance traditions are negotiated by actors such as the Peruvian state, archives, anthropologists and local communities in the context of heritage policies and identity politics. The interest of local communities of the Northern Coast (people claiming Muchik and Sicán traditions) and the Central Rainforest (Asháninka and Nomatsiguega indigenous peoples) in activating their cultural heritage stored in state and private archives is at the heart of the binational anthropological project headed by Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kummels, Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Gisela Cánepa, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. It is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (funding period 2021-2024).
  • The DFG project "Forced Migration and Organized Violence: A Comparative Study in Europe and the Americas" led by Prof. Dr. Stephanie Schütze and Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries of Ruhr Universität Bochum examines organized violence in the context of (forced) migration. Within a transregional comparative study with a focus on the transit states Mexico and Turkey, the projects emphasizes the actor perspective connected to questions of development and changing migration patterns and politics. By means of ethnographic research, quantitative study and different interview methods, the researchers will collect data on a micro, meso and macro level and analize it with partner institutions from the countries of origin, transit and arrival (funding period 2019-2022).
  • The DFG project "Soccer as a Space of Belonging: Amateur Soccer Teams of Latin American migrants in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo" examined the emergence of spaces of belonging in the context of migration and amateur football. The ethnographic research focused on amateur teams of Peruvian and Bolivian migrants in the Brazilian metropolises of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The social significance of soccer as an everyday transcultural practice was analyzed. Particular attention was paid to the gender-specific differences between female and male amateur soccer teams. Headed by Prof. Dr. Stephanie Schütze the project investigated the transcultural and gender-specific appropriation strategies that migrant soccer players adapt when opening spaces of belonging (funding period 2017-2022).

Completed projects with funding:

  • The area of Cultural and Social Anthropology of the Institute for Latin American Studies headed the subproject A05 "The Affective Creation of 'Home': Patron Saint Fiesta Videos in the Transnational Setting of Mexico / USA" of the Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies”  funded by DFG. Taking an anthropological perspective, the subproject explored how actors affectively produce a multi-sited ‘home’ between Mexico and the US in and through the medium of fiesta videos. The videos constitute a genre of their own that has emerged since 2000 as part of the international migration from the Oaxacan Sierra Norte to the US; the Sierra Norte is currently one of Mexico’s main regions of outmigration. Headed by Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kummels the subproject investigated how actors create ‘home’ across the international border by producing, circulating and consuming video films that document the celebration in honour of the patron saint of the Mexican village of origin (funding period 2015-2019).
  • Zeitzeugen des Kulturkontakts: Neue Forschungs- und Interpretationszugänge zum materiellen Erbe der indigenen Bevölkerung des Amazonasgebietes (Oberer Rio Negro) is a joint project with Dr. Michael Kraus (Universität Bonn) and Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer (Universität Marburg). The congress on this subject which combines the participation of local experts on the Columbian Amazonia and university academics specializing in museum collections of the material culture of this region took place in August 2014 (funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung).
  • Project Erforschung interkultureller Kommunikationsräume in Alt-Peru am Beispiel der formativzeitlichen Besiedlung der Siedlungskammer Cayán. This archaeological, ethnohistorical and social anthropological project investigated the role of the Cayán valley for communication and exchange between the highlands and the lowlands of Peru in a perspective from the pre-Columbian era up to the present (funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG).

Current postdoctoral projects:

Completed postdoctoral projects:

  • Franziska Bedorf: “The Affective Creation of ‘Home’: Patron Saint Fiesta Videos in the Transnational Context of Mexico/USA” (Head of project Prof. Ingrid Kummels) within the CRC  “Affective Societies”
  • Sabina Aguilera: "Unraveling Tarahumara perceptions of landscape through historical documents"

Current habilitations:

  • Carmen Ibáñez: "Fragmented Future? Projections, Expectations and Imaginaries in the Popular Markets of the Andes"
  • Claudia Rauhut: “Slavery Reparations in the Caribbean: Transregional Perspectives on Actors, Debates, and the Politics of History"

Completed habilitations:

  • Stephanie Schütze: "Transnationale politische Räume: Arenen des politischen Engagements mexikanischer Migrant/innen zwischen Mexiko und den USA"
  • Karoline Noack: "Textilien und die Produktion von kolonialer Differenz in der Kontaktzone: Trujillo in der nördlichen audiencia Lima, Peru im 16. und frühen 17. Jahrhundert" (2010)

Guests & Fellows


Investigadora del Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades (CEIICH), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Programa de Investigación Ciudades, Gestión, Territorio y Ambiente
Research stay: 1.8.19 - 31.7.20

Investigadora en la Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Perú (PUCP)
Departamento Académico de Ciencias Sociales - Sección Antropología
Global Faculty Program, FU Berlin
Research stay: 16.12.19 - 15.3.20


Docente- Investigador - Universidad del Rosario
Facultad de Jurisprudencia – JANUS
DAAD- Forschungsstipendium
Research stay: 01.10.19 - 01.11.19

Profesor en el Departamento de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad de Medellín, Colombia
Georg Forster-Forschungsstipendium der Humboldt Stiftung
Forschungsaufenthalt, 01.03.2019 - 31.08.2019


Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, USA
Received the Humboldt-Forschungspreis, one of the most acknowledged awards ot the german academic field
Research stay 04.2018 - 06.2018


Winner of the Humboldt-Investigation-award 2017 (Humboldt-Forschungspreis)
Research stay 2017-2018

  • Dr. Judith Solís Téllez

Profesora-Investigadora de la Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero

  • Dr. Silvia Guadalupe Alarcón Sánchez

Profesora-Investigadora de la Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
Research stay 15.5. - 15.7. 2017 financed by COCITYEG, CONACYT and Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero


Professora Titular, Departamento de Política Científica e Tecnológica, Universidade Estadual de Campinas.
Research stay 1.9. - 30.9. 2016 financed by the Center for International Cooperation, Freien Universität Berlin


Profesora-Investigadora del Departamento de Estudios Culturales de El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF)
Research stay 15.06. - 15.07.2015


Director "Center for African and African American Research", Duke University
James Lorand Matory won the Humboldt-Forschungspreise 2013 award. 
Research stay: 15.01.2014 - 15.12.2014

Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, Sección de Antropología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP)
Georg-Forster Grant
Neoliberalism as cultural regime: a performative approach to the understanding of culture, personhood and power in contemporary Perú.
Research stay: 01.01.2014 - 31.03.2014 and 01.10.2014 - 31.12.2014.


  • Prof. Dr. Ana Luiza Carvalho da Rocha  

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre
Research stay (CAPES), 01.09.2013 - 25.01.2014

  • Prof. Dr. Cornelia Eckert

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre
Research stay funded by: UFRGS, 01.09. - 30.11.2013  

  • Paola Garibi Harper

El Colegio de Michoacán 
Imaginario social de la niñez nahua jomalera migrante sobre el trabajo infantil en la zafra de Cuauhtémoc, Colima
Research stay: 01.05.-31.10.2013


  • Diana Bocarejo

Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá Colombia, Escuela de Ciencias Humanas
Cultural heritage in multicultural Colombia and globalization
Reseacrh stay: 07.06.-20.07.2012


  • Diana Bocarejo

Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá Colombia, Escuela de Ciencias Humanas
Cultural heritage in multicultural Colombia and globalization
Research stay: 04.12.-09.12.2011

  • Alejandro Garcés

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, IMEDES, Spanien
Migraciones peruanas en Santiago de Chile: el lugar de lo comercial en la construcción del espacio urbano
Research stay: 28.02.-28.05.2011

  • Menara Lube Guizardi

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, IMEDES, Spanien
Localmente globales. Permanencia y flujo de los grupos de Capoeira en Madrid
Research stay: 28.02.-28.05.2011


  • Deborah Dorotinsky

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexiko
Encauzar la mirada: Arquitectura, pedagogía e imágenes en México 1920-1950
Research stay: 23.09.-06.10.2010

  • Rihan Yeh

University of Chicago, USA
Passing: An Ethnography of Status, Self and the Public in a Mexican Border City
Research stay: 20./21.05.2010

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