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Theories and methods in cultural and historical studies (10 LP)

Qualification aims

In this introductory module, students acquire basic knowledge of cultural and historical research methods and theories in their different disciplinary backgrounds. These methods and theories serve as a common basis for further study within the student’s chosen profile area. Students familiarize themselves with current theories on dynamics and processes of cultural action, historical-cultural forms of representation, and their interconnections in and in relation to Latin America. They learn essential theoretical and methodological approaches in history and/or cultural and social anthropology and/or the literatures and cultures of Latin America. Students learn to classify their epistemological foundations in the history of research and critically reflect on them. They learn to assess and apply selected theoretical approaches and methods and to transfer them to case studies. Students will be able to develop their own research interests against the backdrop of current research debates; to formulate initial questions from a historical and/or cultural and social anthropological and/or literary/cultural studies perspective; and to select and present adequate analytical perspectives. Students gain comprehensive, detailed, and specialized knowledge at the cutting edge, as well as specialized technical and conceptual problem-solving skills in the addressed subjects. Furthermore, they expand their social competence with special consideration of gender and diversity-specific aspects, as well as their independence through active participation in complex team projects.


Students are introduced to basic research approaches in history and/or cultural and social anthropology and/or literature/cultural studies with a special focus on the theories and methods of historical-cultural action, representations, and interconnections in and in relation to Latin America. Students learn about transnational, global historical, decolonial, intersectional, and ecological approaches, among others. They also learn a selection of disciplinarily situated theoretical and methodological foundations and gain insight into interdisciplinary perspectives, including gender and diversity approaches. They learn evaluation and interpretation strategies and are prepared for independent academic work via concrete exercises. They also gain practice-oriented insight into the specific epistemological interests and approaches of the humanities and cultural studies, and they learn good academic practice.


Teaching and learning methods: Grundkurs (GK) + Hauptseminar (HS)

Module exam: Term paper (approx. 15 pages)

Offer: Every winter semester