The research programme framing the international fellowship programme of Mecila seeks to further insights into the processes of negotiation, legitimation, contestation, and transformation of existing hierarchies as they take place in everyday interactions and within institutions. The historical, environmental, economic, social, and political contexts in which these interactions occur, as well as their representations, are of central relevance.
According to our relational and interdependent perspective, we postulate, firstly, that actors do not exist prior to interactions, but only through them; and secondly, that structures and interactions are mutually formed. Thus, our starting points are the convivial configurations in which the connection between conviviality, difference, and inequality is embedded. Convivial configurations can refer either to relations among humans or to interdependent ties between humans and non-humans, encompassing animals, plants, spirits, and artefacts. Taken from a diachronic perspective, convivial configurations are affected by daily transformations and by moments of inflection triggered either by the accumulation of minor changes (re-negotiations of everyday relations) or by more profound ruptures such as disasters, revolutions, and coups d’état. To identify different stages (prior or posterior to inflection) within the same convivial configuration, we refer to regimes of conviviality.
The Centre is equally interested in theoretical discussions and in empirical studies. Mecila is open to all methods and materials relevant to the humanities and social sciences, including, among others, qualitative and quantitative data, archives, literary texts, art objects, acoustic and iconographic collections, cartographies, social media samples. All disciplines and scholars belonging to the broad fields of the humanities and social sciences can potentially participate in the activities of the Centre. The only requirement is an interest in both focusing on the nexus conviviality-inequality and engaging in interdisciplinary dialogue in a broader sense.
One of the most challenging as well as most productive areas of inquiry regarding the co-constitution of conviviality and inequality in Latin American societies are gender and race. Historically grown, social and institutional relations across the continent remain tense and are often violently configured contingent on origin, race, gender and sexuality. Critical race and gender studies in Latin America have pointed out the specific challenges and the endless opportunities in closely and critically analysing these grown configurations and political and social regimes maintaining them. The contributors highlight the privileged place of Latin American social thought on gender and race and their intersection to make an intervention in international debates on conviviality-inequality. The table invites these debates to think the social sciences as deeply intertwined with the social and political realities in which they are practiced.
47º Encontro Anual ANPOCS
25.10 – Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America: Encountering hierarchies of race and gender, as well as their intersections in Latin America
Chair: Barbara Göbel | IAI, Mecila Principal Investigator
Speakers: Eugenia Brage | Mecila Junior Fellow, Mario Medeiros | Unicamp, Mecila Senior Fellow, Tilmann Heil | UzK, Mecila Postdoctoral Researcher
Commentor: Susana Durão | Unicamp (tbc)