Research topic: Latin America
Present day Latin America includes most of the American continent south of the Rio Grande. Broadly speaking it corresponds with the areas that were under Spanish and Portuguese rule from 1492 until the early 19th century, and with the states that have Spanish and Portuguese as their official languages.
This area comprises a sixth of the Earth's land surface. A twelfth of the world's population lives in Latin America, producing a twentieth of the world's total GNP.
Culturally Latin America is very heterogeneous. In ancient times over 2,000 languages were spoken by indigenous peoples throughout the South American continent and many traditional pre-Columbian languages are still in use in all the Latin American countries.
The most widespread Indian languages – Quechua, Nahuatl, Aymara and Maya – are spoken by several million people. In addition to these languages, several hundred languages with pre-Columbian roots are found in Latin America.
In large areas of Latin America there are also significant numbers of descendants of African slaves. And following 1850, parts of Latin America experienced mass immigration from all over Europe, the Middle East, Korea, Japan and China.
Research and teaching at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages (ILOS) covers a wide spectrum of themes concerning Latin-American history and society, such as Iberian and Latin-American history, the history of the colonial period (1492- approx. 1820), Latin-American democratic traditions and democratisation after 1890, economic developments in Latin America in more recent times and Latin-American migrations.
We also carry out research into Latin-American film and literature. Current areas of literary research include Latin-American literature in Scandinavia and pre-Columbian narrative structures in Latin-American contemporary literature.
Identities, social structures and political development during the eras of colonisation and independence are another core research topic.