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ISLA – Volume 1: 2012 – Die globalisierte Apokalypse aus lateinamerikanischer Perspektive

Antje Gunsenheimer / Monika Wehrheim / Mechthild Albert / Karoline Noack (eds.)
Date of publication: September 2017

Globalisierte Apokalypse Buchdeckel


In 2012 an apocalypse scenario, supposedly predicted by the Maya Calenders, was dealt with extensively in the media all over the world. What do hieroglypic inscriptions of the Maya actually tell us about such an apocalypse? Which historical context is the European conception of the apocalypse embedded in? These and further questions are answered by this volume from an interdisciplinary perspective. Additionally the contributions of this volume take into consideration ideas about apocalypse scenarios as they are present in selected amerindian societies. Furthermore, also the appearance of the apocalypse as a metaphor in modern mexican literature is dealt with. This first volume of the ISLA publication series is complemented by an interview with Maya expert Nikolai Grube who talks about the impact of the mystic year 2012 on the scientific research on the Maya culture.

All contributions are written in German.

Click here to view an overview of the contributions and click here view a recension to this volume.                               


Bonn University Press by V & R unipress 2017, 204 pp. with 9 illustrations. 40 €

ISBN 978- 3-8471-0685-2

ISLA - Volume 2: Border Transgression: Mobility and Mobilization in Crisis

Eva Youkhana (ed.)
Date of publication:  Winter 2017

Border Transgression Buchdeckel 


The volume is a proceeding of the International Conference on „Border Transgressions: Mobility and Mobilization in Crisis”, held in May 7-8 2014, in Bonn University at the Interdisciplinary Latin America Center (ILZ). With an international expert team from Mexico, Ecuador, Switzerland, Spain and Germany it was discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective how notions of belonging are (re)produced and reinforced by the media and how citizenship is enacted by different forms of social, cultural and political mobilizations. In particular, the questions were attended how agency is engendered by the use of media through migrants, how citizens’ participation is connected to socio-material relations and which power asymmetries are reflected within these relations. With the presentation of case studies from European ‘host’ countries different articulations of belonging and ‘acts of citizenship’ were discussed from a translocal and comparative perspective. Additionally, an experimental part of the conference helped to examine which lessons can be learned from methods and concepts in Science and Technology Studies (e.g. from ANT, concepts such as assemblage, enactment) for future research based at the interface between mobility (migration) and social mobilization.



Contributions in English and Spanish.

Click here to view more information about this volume.      

ISLA - Volume 3: El 'otro' héroe en América Latina. Estudios sobre la producción social de memoria al margen del discurso oficial

Antje Gunsenheimer, Enrique N. Cruz y Carlos Pallán Gayol (eds.)
Date of publication:  Summer 2020

National memory policies are based on the veneration of heroes. However, our look at Latin America and its production of the hero is directed towards the 'other hero' in four aspects. Through 18 individual studies in ten different countries and periods, this volume examines the (posthumous) rise of the subaltern hero - members of marginalized groups and women - who became national heroes (1). Based on individual cases, it discusses how heroic status, while built up from the historical and literary context, is managed in the political arena; as well as how it can be removed, for political reasons (2). Themes include historical figures who can be considered "heroes" even if they have not achieved this status in their national context (3) and study forms of representation of currently controversial cultures of memory, exemplified by demolished monuments, social media and political graffiti (4).


Antje Gunsenheimer (Germany), Enrique Normando Cruz (Argentina), Carlos Pallán Gayol (Germany, Mexico), Monika Wehrheim (Germany), Barbara Potthast (Germany), Frauke Sachse (Germany, USA), Marcia Amantino (Brazil), Maria da Conceição Vilela Franco (Brazil), Aarón Grageda Bustamante (Mexico), Ramon Manuel Pérez Martínez (Mexico), Kerstin Nowack (Germany), Juan Manuel Romero Gil (Mexico), Eveline Duerr (Germany), Olga Vásquez Monzón (Guatemala, El Salvador), Janina Möbius (Germany), Marco Antonio Estrada Saavedra (México), Viviana Bravo Vargas (Chile), Juan Javier Rivera Andia (Peru, Germany), †Raquel Padilla Ramos (Mexico), Vinicius Maia Cardoso (Brazil).

ISLA - Volume 4: Philosophy of Religion - in Latin America and Europe

Michael Schulz und Roberto Hofmeister Pich (eds.)
Date of publication:  Autumn/Winter 2020

The contributions in this volume on the philosophy of religion are essentially those delivered at a conference entitled Philosophy of Religion in Latin America and Europe, which took place from November 24th-26th, 2014, in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). The conference offered an occasion for scholars from different continents and countries to come together in order to get a sense of current trends in philosophical studies on religion in Brazil and Germany. It also inaugurated a long-term collaboration between the University of Bonn (Germany) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) aimed at furthering the philosophical – as well as theological – study of religious topics both common and important for the history of Europe and the history of Latin America, especially from the post-Columbian period until today.

The title of the conference suggests a double meaning: on the one hand, most of the contributions outline philosophies of religion relevant for Latin America, without, however, betraying an explicit Latin American perspective. This fact reflects a view often found in Latin America, namely, that philosophical reason always articulates itself in the same way, whether in Berlin or Rio de Janeiro. The second meaning of this volume's title suggests that philosophy in Latin America refers to a specific form of philosophy that has developed regionally and bears explicit traces of its origins that differentiate it from philosophy in Europe. This conception claims to demonstrate how a specific cultural situation produces both a new way of thinking and new topics in the field of philosophy.

Philosophy of religion declares the phenomenon of religious plurality to be a subject of reason. Reason does not threaten religion; it can help overcome certain pathological tendencies of religion. As one can see from lived reality in Latin American, reason itself moves between different understandings of what is plausible, including mythical ideas that follow their own logic. One can recognize a cultivated and civilized reason by the fact that it is able to deal with those plausibilities and need not push them aside by force. With this in mind, the genesis of an intercultural philosophy and philosophy of religion in Latin America and Europe is and will continue to be a major task.



Brazil: Agemir Bavaresco (Porto Alegre), Luiz Alberto Cerqueira (Rio de Janeiro), Agnaldo Cuoco Portugal (Brasília), Wilson Dallagnol (Porto Alegre), Luís H. Dreher (Juiz de Fora), Carlos Adriano Ferraz (Pelotas), Roberto Hofmeister Pich (Porto Alegre), Isidoro Mazzarolo (Rio de Janeiro), Nythamar de Oliveira (Porto Alegre), Jakob Hans Josef Schneider (Uberlândia)

 Germany, Bonn: Thomas Dewender, Cem Kömürcü, Michael Schulz

ISLA - Volume 5: Umweltdiskurse in Lateinamerika / Discursos ambientales en América Latina

Elmar Schmidt und Monika Wehrheim (eds.)

Date of publication: Autum/Winter 2020

ISLA - Volume 6: Fluctuaciones del mal - Alteridad y violencia en la interpretación latinoamericana

Michael Schulz und Álvaro Ezcurra (eds.)
Date of publication:  Summer/Autum 2020

This publication is the result of a workshop funded by the German Research Society (DFG) and organized by members of the Interdisciplinary Latin America Centre (ILZ) of the University of Bonn together with colleagues from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP, Lima) and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá) in early May 2019 near the city of Cusco (Peru).

The category of evil, which must be understood within the framework of a diatopic hermeneutic, functions as a thread that links the research questions of the disciplines that participated in the workshop. The violence suffered in ethnic, cultural, ideological and gender conflicts becomes synonymous with the experience of evil. Here we examine the different oratures and literatures that have been used to address the experience of violence between different ethnic groups and parts of societies in Peru, Mexico and Colombia from colonial times to the present. At the beginning of many conflicts is the negative qualification of the other and the foreigner, the female sex. The strange otherness can already be perceived as something evil, strange, demonic, because it questions one's own self-understanding, irritates and is perceived as a break in the horizon of one's own identity. The diagnosis of diatopic hermeneutics to analyze the genesis and the fluctuation of the category of evil implies a "therapeutic" one, in the sense that not only is one's own thing recognized in that of others, but also otherness is recognized as such. In this way, the category of evil loses its meaning as a marker of otherness and can now be used by both sides (or more) to distinguish violence and injustice in society, politics, economy and religion. The political and intercultural rejection of violence becomes possible if, thanks to diatopic hermeneutics, lines of understanding between ethnic groups and cultures can be found.


PUCP: Oscar Espinosa, Cecilia Esparza, Álvaro Ezcurra, Estrella Guerra, Sofía Macher, Fidel Tubino

Javeriana: Fernando Cardona

ILZ, Bonn University: Mechthild Albert, Antje Gunsenheimer, Karoline Noack, Michael Schulz, Monika Wehrheim

ISLA - Volume 7: Narcotráfico y narcocultura en América Latina / Drogenhandel und “Narkokultur” in Lateinamerika

Antje Gunsenheimer und Monika Wehrheim (eds.)
Date of publication:  scheduled for 2020

In Latin America, drug trafficking means much more than trading an illegal commodity. Without a doubt, the activity of drug traffickers has far-reaching consequences on the states and societies in which they conduct their business. Civil society is under threat: politicians and the police have lost the battle or are bought off by the cartels. In Mexico, an entire police unit changed its position and entered the infamous Zetas cartel. As for political science, the motto of the failed state makes the rounds in this relationship. However, drug trafficking leads to the emergence of a culture of its own: narcoculture. On the one hand, this reflects the phenomenon of violence and crime in a critical way and, on the other hand, it contributes to the glorification and heroization of the drug lords, for example, in the narcocorridos. The anthology, which is based on a series of conferences that have taken place at the University of Bonn, examines the different aspects of the drug problem in Latin America from an interdisciplinary perspective. Contributions from cultural and literary studies, as well as from ethnology, political science, sociology, anthropology of the Americas and religious studies, as well as from biodiversity research and legal science, develop their own questions and provide insight into different methods of scientific analysis.


Contributions from: Markus-Michael Müller (FU Berlin), Charlotte Steinweg (Bonn University), Clara Omland (ILZ, Bonn University), Michael Schulz (ILZ, Bonn University), Adrián Herrera Fuentes (CologneUniversity), José Luis Rocha (Marburg University), Pablo Campos Recalde (Bielefeld University), Mark Münzel (Marburg University), Eric Javier Bejerano Vargas (Bielefeld University) y Jasmin Temelli (Dusseldorf University).