The Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) at Freie Universität Berlin was founded in 1970 as an interdisciplinary central institute in response to the national German university reform. At the Institute, seven disciplines are represented in research and teaching in the social sciences and cultural studies. Seven professors and about 50 research associates currently work at the Institute, conducting research on a range of ongoing projects. LAI is Germany’s largest institute for research on Latin America and is also one of Europe’s leading institutions for Latin American Studies.
The following disciplines are represented at the Institute for Latin American Studies:
- Cultural and Social Anthropology
- Gender Studies
- Literatures and Cultures of Latin America
- Political Science
LAI’s course offerings are based on an area studies- model of interdisciplinary teaching and research and equip students with strong regional expertise. At the Institute, students may pursue the research-oriented Master’s program “Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies” as well as the interdisciplinary 30-credit module “Latin American Studies” within the scope of other BA programs. The disciplines represented at LAI also offer opportunities for specialization on Latin America within other departmental programs.
In 2009, LAI founded the International Research Training Group “Between Spaces. Movements, Actors and Representations of Globalization”, which was followed in 2010 by the establishment of the Research Network on “Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America” (desiguALdades.net). Each provides an exceptional environment for international study and research to qualified young academics.
The Brazil Research Center (Forschungszentrum Brasilien) was also founded in 2010. The Center provides an umbrella for research in cultural and social sciences focusing on “Brazil in the global context”.
The research location of Berlin/Brandenburg offers an exceptional variety of universities and other research institutions that concentrate on Latin America and other world regions.