“There are many good reasons to celebrate today,” said Marianne Braig, a professor of political science at the Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität and the spokesperson for the international research training group “Between Spaces.” “This research training group is the first project in which German and Mexican institutions are working together as equal partners – including financially,” Braig continued. Another of the reasons she cited was that the founding of the new group coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität.
“My hope for you is that the new international research training group will foster mutual understanding across academic disciplines and cultures between Germany and Mexico,” said Professor Peter-André Alt, President of Freie Universität. He went on to say that he was pleased that the group would contribute to the university’s focus on area studies.
The international research training group, which is made up of 15 doctoral candidates and two postdoctoral researchers, is a project sponsored by the Institute of Latin American Studies of Freie Universität, the Institute of Romance Literatures and Linguistics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Institute of Romance Languages and Literature at the University of Potsdam, the Colegio de México, several institutes at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social in Mexico.
The graduate program, which is based in Mexico City and Berlin, is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and by the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT), which is sponsored by the Mexican government. Areas of emphasis in its research activities include movements of people between different regions of the world and the new spaces that these movements have created over the course of globalization past and present. These kinds of “in-between spaces” (the Zwischenräume for which the group is named) exist in families, for instance, when one part of the family moves abroad and the other remains in their original home country.
Written by Jan Hambura