CEDLA Master's Programme
The CEDLA Master’s Programme (CMP) offers a multi-disciplinary Master of Arts programme in Latin American Studies, and is given in English. The CMP lasts 15 months and earns 75 European credits (ECTS). Attention is given to the most important issues in the region, including the characteristics of the Latin American continent, and the way in which recent processes of globalization have changed the conditions in the region. As part of their research project, students will conduct fieldwork in Latin America for three months. Students who successfully earn 40 ECTs within the set time limit are eligible for a research grant of €1000 for expenses incurred during their research in Latin America. The CMP is a post-initial Master’s and has been accredited by the NVAO. It is registered with the Central Register of Higher Educational Schooling (CROHO).
Upcoming CMP Info meeting 28/03/18
VENUE: CEDLA, Roetersstraat 33, Amsterdam - Lecture room 2.02 - 2nd floor
Doing research in Latin America is a mandatory requirement of the CEDLA Master's Programme. The CMP students are supervised by the CEDLA research staff during their fieldwork research and when writing their graduate thesis. Although students choose their own research themes (who their supervisor will be is decided by the research staff), it is advisable to either participate in the ongoing research of research staff members or to further build on the themes and results of past CEDLA research. The list below gives an overview of the possibilities for students to do research on the themes of the CEDLA research staff.
Themes: history, Indian movements, social networks, democracy
Michiel Baud is especially interested in the various ways that people in Latin America construct their lives, and specifically, how they build their social and political networks. Emphasis is given to the themes listed below, which CMP students could use as a basis for their research:
a) State formation in Latin America from the end of the nineteenth century and the ways in which politicians, intellectuals, and the leaders of social movements have tried to use their ideas to form society;
b) Discussions about democracy and participation in contemporary Latin America;
c) Indian movements today and in the past;
d) Social networks in modern Latin America – this also explicitly includes non-political networks such as cultural groups, brass bands, carnaval groups, etc. that people participate in.
Themes: political ecology, biodiesel programme in Brazil, biofuel, protected areas, Amazon sustainability,
Fábio de Castro is interested in the socio-ecological processes shaping patterns of resource use and management. His research focuses on local governance of natural resource and the dilemma between conservation and development goals on local and broader scales. His interdisciplinary background is reflected in his theoretical and methodological approach, combining ethnographic, historical, socioeconomic, institutional and ecological data to understand how patterns of resource use are shaped and transformed. He is particularly interested in the connections between processes across socio-ecological scales, and how partnerships between users, government and private sectors influence resource conservation. Fábio de Castro has conducted research in many different sites in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest in Brazil. He is currently working on two main projects:
a) The Political Ecology of the Implementation of Agro-Extractive Reserves in the Amazonian Floodplain
1. Analysis of the institutional arrangement of the Reserves
2. Evaluation of the participatory and collaborative process
3. Assessment of the social and ecological performance of the reserves
b) The Socio-Ecological Dimension of the Biodiesel Program in Brazil
1. Analysis of the institutional framework of the biodiesel program
2. Social relations between farmers, biodiesel producers and the governmental agencies
3. Assessment of the economic and ecological performance of the feedstock production (oil seeds) by small farmers
Themes: urbanization processes, public space, housing, domestic space and material culture
Research on the developments in cities and towns related to increasing globalisation, for example, the construction of gated communities for the urban middle class as a response to feelings of insecurity; of towns that, as a consequence of massive migration, are largely depopulated; research could be about social contacts (how are local or transnational communities kept intact?) or in contrast, about social segregation;
b) Research on the use and meaning of the Latin American inner cities for inhabitants and users – current policy attention to the revitalisation of historical inner cities has transformed many city centres, with a role often played by UNESCO; all kinds of social and spatial issues could be dealt with in this research, varying from questions on policy and the interests of involved parties, to more historically oriented research issues, for example, the questions regarding the everyday functioning of a plaza, as in On The Plaza (Austin: Texas University Press, 2000);
c) Research on housing (urban or rural) from a development perspective – how do weaker groups get access to a house and what possibilities do they have to climb the housing ladder? Is there a governmental programme, or do the citizens find their own housing, and if so, how do they go about it? The meaning of remesas (remittances) from transnational migrants for solutions to housing can offer an interesting line of approach because of the new products that banks and building contractors are developing especially for this group;
d) Research on housing (urban or rural) from a cultural perspective – the house and its surroundings can be used as an object of study to make statements about the habits and customs of a society, or about developing an identity. The routines of daily household life or the symbolic meaning of certain household objects can be chosen as an approach. Students can join in on anthropological studies on material culture.
Themes: the politics of mineral extraction, regional and South-South relations, the New Left, transnational activism and politics
The politics of mineral extraction – an analysis of national policy reforms and/or local protests in regard to oil, gas and metal extraction, old and new conflicts between the state and transnational companies, and forms of new regional cooperation and development based on minerals (and related to my current research project);
b) Latin American politics of regionalisation and South-South relations – what are the new policies regarding economic and political relations of countries in the region and the Global South, such as China? And which perceptions and power relations are influencing them? (related to my research for Latin American Facing China: South-South Relations beyond the Washington Consensus);
c) Political changes by New Left regimes – the effects on policy, political relations and the relations between civil society, the state and market factors (related to Miraculous Metamorphoses. The Neoliberalization of Latin American Populism and Good Governance in the Era of Neoliberal Globalization);
d) Transnational activism and transnational politics regarding development and economic policy, as well as their environmental effects (related to the ENGOV project and to my book Mexico and the NAFTA Environment Debate. The Transnational Politics of Economic Integration).
Associate Professor History
Themes: new media, culture transfer
Research on the use of film, television and new media in Latin America as a means of discussing contemporary social problems; analysis of these cultural products from production to consumption, leading to a contextual analysis of the Latin American identity;
preference given to movies and television series with teenagers or young women in the leading roles (coming of age films); use of a theory from cultural psychology found in the study of Ouweneel, Terug naar Macondo. Het spook van Honderd jaar eenzaamheid en het inheemse innerlijk van de Mesties (Amsterdam 2007);
b) The history of culture transfer in the past, especially through the so-called microstoria; examination of the constants and differences; use of a case (individual or group), such as in Ouweneel's The Flight of the Shepherd. Microhistory and the Psychology of Cultural Resilience in Bourbon Central Mexico (Amsterdam, 2005);
c) Contemporary forms of culture transfer within a specifically chosen area or location, for example, a rural town or city neighbourhood having a specific target population, peferably children and adolescents; use of theories from cultural psychology and developmental psychology.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Themes: Tourism, the urban poor, single mothers, matrifocality in the Caribbean, constructions of masculinity
a) Tourism and its effects on local inhabitants, and the importance of the concept sustainability, including the theoretical debate on sustainable tourism (see for example, Mowforth & Munt Tourism and Sustainability. Development and New Tourism in the Third World, Second Edition, London & New York: Routledge, 2003). Students can do research in a tourist location, concentrating on themes such as poverty reduction alleviation (pro-poor tourism), social justice, local ownership, political control, nature management and cultural integrity; placing a location on the world heritage list of UNESCO leads to the questions: did the local inhabitants have control over this, and what effects did they experience?
b) The daily life of the urban poor – the urban poor have been the subject of debate and research for thirty years; their survival techniques, 'culture', integration into the economy, chances in the labour market, livelihood strategies and grassroots organizations have been problematized; current research oriented toward specific groups (single mothers, youths, children, migrants, religious groups, receivers of micro-credit) and exploration of specific problems (violence, criminality, supplying micro-credit, migration patterns, transnational networks); research could also focus on mapping the specific history of a neighbourhood and the role that grassroots organizations have played there in the present and in past;
c) Single mothers – the number of single mothers is increasing worldwide; reasons to be found in global developments such as the feminization of migration flows, the emancipation of women, their increasing chances in the labour market and – under the influence of neoliberal policies – their increasing poverty. The growing number of single mothers is often seen as a social problem; nevertheless, single mothers – in spite of being stigmatized and often poor – may prefer to remain single because their freedom and autonomy as single women are greater than that of married women. Research could focus on their experiences, how they manage their finances, the social acceptance or rejection they experience and the emancipatory facets of single motherhood;
d) Matrifocality in the Caribbean – researchers have shown interest in women raising children alone, their autonomy and role as the pivot of the family since the 1930s. The position of men in the family system remains analytically underexposed; it is questionable if men really take up such a marginal position as has been thought. An innovative research topic could focus on men, their experiences, their opinions of women, fatherhood and the raising of children, and their roles as fathers, brothers, grandfathers, nephews and uncles;
e) Construction of masculinity (in an urban context) – gender studies in Latin America were initially oriented toward the question of the position of women (women's studies); attention then shifted toward power relationships between women and men and the concomitant constructions of femininity and masculinity, with the growing importance of the concept of machismo. In the past ten years awareness has grown to realize that masculinity has many more meanings than solely that of machismo; research possibly oriented toward could focus on the constructions of masculinity in relation to, for example, old age, alcoholism, illness, religion, fatherhood, and entrepreneurship.