Mecila, the Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences was founded by a consortium of Latin American and German universities.
The research program of Mecila addresses the topic of "Conviviality in Unequal Societies: Perspectives from Latin America". Mecila will study past and present forms of social, political, religious and cultural conviviality, above all in Latin America and the Caribbean while also considering comparisons and interdependencies between this region and other parts of the world. Conviviality, for the purpose of the Centre, is an analytical concept to circumscribe ways of living together in concrete contexts.
The founding of Mecila in April 2017 was the result of an initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany) to set up Centers for Advanced Studies in the field of humanities and social sciences in Latin America. The new Maria Sibylla Merian Center is based on a consortium consisting of three German partners (Freie Universität Berlin, Universität zu Köln and Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut Preußischer Kulturbesitz) and four Latin American partners (Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP) in Brasil, Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (IdIHCS of CONICET/Universidad Nacional de La Plata) in Argentine and El Colegio de México (COLMEX) in Mexico).
The Center will be located in São Paulo where its main activities will take place supported by USP and CEBRAP. The partners in Argentina (IdIHCS of (CONICET/UNLP)) and Mexico (CCOLMEX) will contribute to a regionwide presence of the Centre and the dissemination of its results.