Research – University of Copenhagen

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One of the aims of the Centre for Latin American Studies is to provide a stimulating, cross disciplinary environment for debates and discussions about Latin America and to create an inspiring milieu where researchers can share their research findings and receive critical feedback on their works in progress.

The overall research theme of the centre is the question of power and identity in Latin America, both past and present.

Research Projects

Georg W. Wink

Research project on contemporary Brazilian literature

Contemporary literature in Brazil, genre and its relations to other arts like film and music with a special focus on popular literature or so called “sub”-literature. Project (vice-coordinator) in cooperation with the University of Brasília, Research Group on Contemporary Brazilian Literature GELBC. Research focus in 2013-2015 on the representation and configuration of space in fictional works published since the year 2000.

• Wink, Georg 2014. Topografias Literárias e mapas mentais: a sugestão de espaços geográficos e sociais na literaura. In: Regina Dalcastagnè (ed.). Configurações do espaço na literatura brasileira contemporânea. Brasília: UnB.

• Wink, Georg 2015. Espaços ficcionalizados no romance Desterro: memórias em ruínas de Luís Sérgio Krausz: um ensaio em geografia literária. Estudos de literatura brasileira contemporânea, 44 [in press].

• Wink, Georg 2015. Steampunk brasileiro: o espaço de ficção científica em Lição de anatomia do temível Dr. Louison, de Enéias Tavares. [forthcoming].

Sandi Michele de Olivera and Georg W. Wink

Research project “When Inclusion Masks Exclusion: Disempowerment and Depoliticization of Minority Issues through ‘Harmonizing’ Discourses” (in cooperation with Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro)

Research on social inequality often focuses on how language can be exclusionary (e.g., through negatively charged or superficially neutral discourses) and therefore negatively impacts social discriminative policies. Paradoxically, the same can occur with discourses which are positively charged, and thus apparently inclusive. They can lead to depoliticization of the issue and disempowerment of the disadvantaged group(s). As less attention has been paid to these positively charged, or “harmonizing” discourses, we will focus on their use and effect within the contemporary Brazilian context, marked by strong inclusive policies. The findings will provide new insights on how, through language use, participatory democratic processes are twisted such that the goal of truly equitable social inclusion is not fully achieved. While the research is localized, the processes may have universal applications.

This project has obtained external financing through the "International Network Programme 2014” of the Dansih Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Marie Ørum

Ph.D project: “Negotiating meanings of death. An ethnographic study among relatives of victims of police violence in the urban area of Buenos Aires”.

My Ph.D. project is based on an ethnographic study carried out among relatives of young men killed by the police in the urban area of Buenos Aires. Throughout the project I search for an understanding of the experiences and perceptions of the relatives with regards to these acts of violence as well as the ways in which the judicial institutions respond to them. A basic consideration for my approach is a notion of the litigation as a negotiation or dispute between the relatives and state agents as to the meaning of the death – and value of the life – of the victim. In this kind of cases, the victims generally come from the poorer neighborhoods of the city and with this project I intend to contribute to debates about the relationship between state and margins in an urban setting.

Nieves Hernández Flores

1. COSOPRAG project (

A methodological model for sociopragmatic research in linguistic varieties of Spanish. Universities involved in the project: Stockhom, Bergen, Århus, Syddansk, Copenhagen, Bologna, Sevilla, Atlántico (Colombia), Nuevo León (Mexico), California (USA), Central de Venezuela.

2. Identity and discourse: Latino-American women’s identity in mediated narratives.

Forthcoming publication:
Hernández Flores, Nieves: Mujer, inmigrante y colombiana: construcción de identidad en historias de vida mediadas. Discurso y Sociedad.

Milton Almonacid

My thesis aims at introducing a Mapuche perspective in the Western production of scientific knowledge. The objective is to construct a global perspective/dialogue with point of departure in the inter-epistemological problems articulated in what has been denominated the Western global structure. The intentionality is bi-directional: in one sense I want to visualize the reasons, arguments and logics that articulate the profound inequalities which characterize the marginal and excluded spaces and, in another, to visualize the logics, arguments and reasons articulated from these conditions. In other words, visualize the theoretical contributions produced from the marginal and excluded spaces with respect to the debate and construction of a global dialogue.

Jan E. Gustafsson

1. Utopia as a theoretical concept and empirical manifestion in Latin America

The concept of utopia relates to both existing and non-existing ‘places’, and has a particular importance in the history of Latin America, including its invention, its symbolic projections and a series of social practices. This project includes a series of theoretical reflections on the concept of utopia as social imaginary, discourse, identity formation, and, social practice, on one hand, and empirical investigations of its manifestation in political texts, literature and other cultural products, on the other.

Balslev Clausen, H., Gustafsson, J. & Velázquez, M.(Eds.): Utopías y globalización. El Colegio de Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico 2009.

Apacible fluye la frontera – diálogo y utopía en ‘Machuca’ y ‘Los tres entierros de Melquiades Estrada’. In: Andacht, Dalmasso & Fatala (eds.) De Signis ‘Tiempo y espacio en la construcción de identidades’. Pp. 82-90. 2010. La Crujía, Buenos Aires. ISBN 978-987-601-108-2

Izquierda, nación y utopía en el bicentenario. Anales Nueva Epoca 12. 2009/10, Göteborg. Pp. 41-63. ISSN 1101-4148

2. Cuban subjectivities between ‘good place’ and ‘no place’

This project aims at investigating how the ‘Revolution’, in terms of social (power) practices and as a social imaginary, contributes to the (Cuban) subject’s self-understanding, especially with regards to the idea of ‘place’. Building on two different interpretations of the etymology of ‘Utopia’, as ‘good place’ and ‘no-place’, respectively, a main hypothesis is that the force and combination of revolutionary-utopian and nationalist discourse and practices since 1959 tends to force the subject into a position of spatial alienation in the sense of a movement from a position ‘within’ (the social and symbolic national space) to a position ‘outside’, which is not an alternative space or place, not even in the case of emigration, but a kind of no-place, often symbolized in film and literature by odd places or rare spaces, while it for the ‘real’ social subject becomes a feeling of not belonging.

The nation and the Revolution – Techniques of Power and Interpellation in Revolutionary Cuba. In:, Bjerre-Poulsen, N., Clausen, H. B. and Gustafsson, J. (eds): Projections of Power in the Americas, Routledge 2012.

Entre el buen lugar y el no-lugar. Utopía, memoria y migración en la Cuba revolucionaria. Meridional. Revista Chilena de Estudios Latinoamericanos ISSN 0719-4862. Number 3, 2014. . Pp. 153-174. Print version and online version.

Human Rights in and around Cuba: Monolithic Discourse or Actual Alternatives? In: Europe and the Americas:Transatlantic Approaches to Human Rights. Edited by Erik André Andersen and Eva Maria Lassen. Brill Lijhoff. Leiden/Boston. Pp. 250-275

Anne Marie Ejdesgaard Jeppesen

1. Bolivia

-Book chapter: “Poor peasant women’s agency in Bolivia: The National Confederation of Original, Indigenous and Afrodescendant Peasant Women of Bolivia - Bartolina Sisa.“ Forthcoming 2015 in Global women’s work in Transition: Beth English, Mary Frederickson & Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama (eds.)

-Article, Latin American Perspectives: “Memories of Repression and the Construction of a Political Instrument for Social Change in Bolivia”, Forthcoming, 2015

2. Memories of Chilean refugies in Denmark

Part of the ENGEROM Research Platform of Comparative Studies of Memories and Migration. Paper given on the international Ph.D. seminar about Memories and Migration, ENGEROM, 7-8, November, 2014

3. Social movements in Latin America. Publication

- Mario Velázquez, Helene Balslev & A.M. Ejdesgaard Jeppesen (Eds.) (2014): Los Nuevos Movimientos Sociales en América Latina. Editorial Tilde. Mexico.