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Teaching & degree programs

Teaching classes also focus on the main areas of 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. The disciplinary tradition of „Altamerikanistik” in Germany (which can be translated as Anthropology of the Americas) coincides with Latin and North American traditions of Antropología Cultural y Social as well as Cultural and Social Anthropology, since this specialization is multidisciplinary and combines archaeology, ethnohistory and anthropology of contemporary societies. Due to this, the discipline conveys a multi-methodological approach that allows one to comprehend contemporary phenomena on the basis of longstanding continuities as well as discontinuities. Methods of research include participant observation, qualitative interviews, visual analyses of media practices and media representations as well as a critical reading of historical sources. Students of the discipline engage in research and media projects; they also organize their own workshops and congresses.

Degree programs

Cultural and Social Anthropology at the LAI imparts teaching to students in all of the respective degree programs offered at the Freie Universität Berlin:

* BA degree program  “Social and Cultural Anthropology”

* Master’s degree program “Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies”

* Magister Altamerikanistik (Magister Anthropology of the Americas)

* Doctoral programs

BA degree program “Cultural and Social Anthropology”

Cultural and Social Anthropology at the LAI teams up with the Institute of Ethnology to teach the BA degree program “Social and Cultural Anthropology”. Students may specialize on Latin America as their area of study after their third semester and intensify their regional knowledge through research projects, internships and the topic of their bachelor thesis.

* Course guidance and counselling service

Master’s degree program “Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies”

Like every LAI discipline, Cultural and Social Anthropology participates in the MA degree program and offers compulsory interdisciplinary classes such as the modules “Begriffe und Methoden der Lateinamerikaforschung” (Concepts and Methods of Research on Latin America) (K 1) and “Konstituierung Lateinamerikas” (The Constitution of Latin America) (K 2). Starting with the second semester it offers a specialization on “Repräsentation und Verflechtung” (Representation and Entanglement) (Profile A) teaming up with the disciplines  History and Literatures and Cultures of Latin America. Within this specialization of the degree program Cultural and Social Anthropology offers a special class inMethoden und Theorien der Repräsentation und Verflechtung” (Methodologies and Theories of Representation and Entanglement) (A 1) and an advanced class in “Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie Lateinamerikas” (Cultural and Social Anthropology of Latin America).

The discipline also participates in the project module of the area of research practice

* Current classes offered by Cultural and Social Anthropology at the LAI in the master’s degree program “Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies”

Magister Altamerikanistik (Magister Anthropology of the Americas)

Due to major degree reforms this degree program has ceased since 31.03.2011 and therefore no classes  are offered.

Ph.D. programs

Students with a MA degree specialized in Cultural and Social Anthropology basically have the opportunity to initiate a doctoral study at the LAI in this discipline. Only projects with an affinity to the core areas of this discipline at the LAI are evaluated. Depending on the acceptance of their proposal Ph.D. students may work on their thesis individually or in a structured Ph.D. program.

* Current program of the research colloquium for doctoral students.  

* Doctoral guidelines, Examination office and further information.

You can find a detailed list of the current research projects of the discipline at “Research”.

Ph.D. programs at the LAI:

Internationales Graduiertenkolleg  Temporalities of Future in Latin America. Dynamics of Aspiration and Anticipation


Studying abroad, internships and field research

As part of the BA and MA studies, there are numerous opportunities for studies or field research abroad. To experience a semester abroad in other European countries, the Latin American Institute has numerous contacts with universities through Erasmus program, with cultural-anthropological focus on Latin America.

Through a direct exchange there is the possibility to study at Universidad Católica de Perú and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

In addition, there are several collaborations between LAI and universities in Latin America.

If you have any questions, please contact the scientific staff of Altamerikanistik / Kulturanthropologie. For field research and internships abroad, as part of the preparation of a thesis, it is possible to apply for a scholarship through the DAAD PROMOS program.

For further information, please contact PROMOS office of FU Berlin.


Cultural and Social Anthropology has recently developed several disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects for digital learning. This has been supported by the IT staff of the LAI and CeDiS, the central IT management of the FU. These E-Learning-Projects include:

* Transcultural Visualizations (Transkulturelle Visualisierungen)

* Caminos – Travelling through the History of Latin America (Caminos – Eine Reise durch die Geschichte Lateinamerikas)

* Symbolic Representations and History of Society (Symbolische Repräsentationen und Gesellschaftsgeschichte)

* Indigenous Languages (Indigene Sprachen)

* Digital Sources oft he Anthropology oft he Americas (Digitale Quellen der Altamerikanistik)

Academic Working

For instructions on academic work, please consult here.

More tips and guidance on acedemic work under: http://www.arbeitschreiben.de and http://www.uni-due.de/schreibwerkstatt/trainer/ (Universität Essen).

Perspectives in the professional job market

Studying Cultural and Social Anthropology in the context of the BA degree program "Cultural and Social Anthropology” and the Master’s degree program “Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies” of the LAI offers opportunities of employment in the following professional sectors:

* Research and academic work at universities (a Ph.D. is a condition for engaging in an academic career)

* Research and academic work at non-university institutions (such as IAI, WZB, GIGA, museums of anthropology)

* International relations (development cooperation, international organisations, NGOs, external action service)

* Media, culture and journalism (press and media, publishing houses, public relations)

* Intercultural mediation and consulting (in businesses, educational and health institutions)

* Art and cultural institutions (museums, cultural institutions)

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