Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

InterAmerican Studies / Estudios InterAmericanos

Compulsory Modules

Interdisciplinary Introduction to InterAmerican Studies / Introducción interdisciplinaria a los Estudios InterAmericanos
The subjects of the interdisciplinary module "InterAmerican Studies" are aimed at introducing the context of the interdisciplinary material, and bringing together students from different disciplines. These courses secure the framework that will accompany the studies for the interdisciplinary integration of the acquisition of knowledge and research, as well as offering the possibility of transforming the knowledge into field practice.

As for the thematics, the study project is grounded in an interdisciplinary context within the primary theme of the academic year, which covers a cluster of subjects that correspond to the compulsory modules. The main goal is for the course to serve as an introduction to the thematic spectrum of InterAmerican Studies, while working in groups in the block seminar to analyze specific cases. Ethnicity and indigenous movements, spaces and areas of transnational cultural contact, gender issues, migration and exile, urbanization, political communication, cultural hybridity and Border Studies, among others, constitute some of the thematic areas in which the Inter-American framework is linked to research activities at the University of Bielefeld. The group project during the semester aims to delve into the thematic subject of the course through further processing and research, the outcome of which will be presented during the final presentation.
History of the Americas / Historia de las Américas
The module "History of the Americas" consists of studying the dynamics, global processes, colonization, dependence, and contact between cultures that occur within the region of the Americas. Historical theories (such as systems theory, social history, history of ideas, and postcolonial studies), and methods (historical hermeneutics, oral history), will be divided and explored through the Inter-American context.

The subjects included in this module are fully related, and use common themes which focus on issues of world history. The historical context is, as a rule, focused on the questions raised by research in the region of interest, and is responsible for establishing links with other regions of the world. Meanwhile, the seminar deepens the approach to the problems of regional, trans-regional, theoretical, and methodological research. 
North American Literature and the Processes of Culture

This module will examine subjects through the context and various approaches to theoretical and methodological literature, media, and culture. The central focus is the question of transculturalization, particularly in relation to cultural exchange within the area known as North America. Therefore, in this module, historical and contemporary North American literature are analyzed, along with various cultural productions.

In the seminar, "Cultural Theory" students receive an overview of the theories of cultural studies (such as cultural materialism, gender studies, media studies, New Historicism, cultural anthropology, and intercultural communication). Alternatively, in the seminar "Literary Theory" the various proposals of literary theories (including hermeneutics, New Criticism, structuralism, reception theory, and postcolonial theory) will studied, as the main objective of the seminar is to analyze the cultural role of literature in the context of Anglophone cultures. The seminar "Literary and Cultural Contact in the United States" introduces students to the broader picture of the areas of contact and processes of exchange taking place in the United States, especially in relation to discursive and communicative structures.

Literaturas y culturas latinoamericanas

The module "Latin American Literatures and Cultures" enables understanding of the central role of literature and other cultural products within the transformation, deconstruction, and reproduction of different identity processes in Latin America. Part of the module is based on postcolonial theory and the research of contact and cultural hybridization applied in scientific research literature and audiovisual media, especially in relation to Latin American cultures. The phenomena of cultural mixes of people from indigenous, European, and African ancestry (cultural miscegenation, syncretism) is also examined. This module provides a theoretical framework, which explores the methods of philosophical analysis, audiovisual media studies, theories about the field of literary and cultural studies, discourse analysis, and gender and media theory.

The seminar "Latin American Literature in its Historical and Social Context" focuses on various topics of literary production in Latin America from colonial times to the modern and postmodern era. Two of the main focal points of this seminar are the processes of transculturalization (Ortiz) and the literary production within the areas of contact (Pratt).

The seminar "Latin American Cultural Studies" serves as an introduction to cultural theories of both history and the present, with a Latin American focus. Students will be exposed to the early thinkers in Latin American cultural theory, such as Martí, Rodo, and Retamar, along with those who have questioned the Latin American postcolonial stance (Mato, Quijano, Mignolo), and the processes of the hybridization of the classification between popular, mass, and high culture (García Canclini, Monsiváis).

Thesis + Colloquium
In the research colloquium "InterAmerican Studies" different research projects conducted by students of the program are presented. In addition to university professors and peers, invited researchers from within the thematic spectrum of InterAmerican Studies may be present during the presentations.