Universidade de São Paulo
On November 27-28th 2017, the Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America hosted the two-day international workshop Researching Conviviality in Unequal Societies: Theories and Methods. The event held at the University of São Paulo brought together scholars from various Latin American and German institutions. In addition to theoretical reflections on conviviality, both local and international researchers debated about different case studies from the continent as well as about methodological challenges when addressing convivial contexts through the lens of politics, norms, culture and the everyday.
From the perspective of art history, Claudia Swan from Northwestern University gave a keynote lecture on the 17th century naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian. Main attention was given not only to the latter’s symbol character for nonconformist investigations in a highly male dominated domain, but also to the question of positionalities of knowledge in a historical context of colonialism and slavery. Furthermore, Silviano Santiago, writer and emeritus professor in Literature of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, gave the second keynote about “Desplazamientos reales y paisajes imaginários – el cosmopolita pobre”. He distinguished the significance of the modern diasporic movements, especially from Mexico to the US, for new forms and intercultural horizons of living together.
In the course of the five panels, topics from political divisions, rights and normativities, interculturality, interreligiosity, (in)formal markets to popular convivial practices were discussed. As methodological challenges, points as for example the growing importance of big data and social media, as well as the involvement of non-human actors, have been identified.