The Department of Iberian and Latin American History in Cologne is one of the major research institutions for non-European history in Germany. Since the 1950s, social history and the history of state and nation building processes have characterized the research at our department. Following these interests, the historians Richard Konetzke and Hermann Kellenbenz from Cologne founded the "Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas" ("Yearbook of History of Latin American State, Economy and Society", today: "Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas", "Yearbook of Latin American History") in 1964.
Today social, political and cultural history as well as Latin American historical anthropology and the investigation of Latin America's role in the context of world and global history form our research profile. The research concentrates on the time frame from the 15th century to contemporary history. Regional focuses are the Cono Sur (Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay), Cuba and the "big" Carribean as well as the historical "tierra firme" (Venezuela, New Granada/Colombia), Central America and Panama as well as Mexico and Brazil.
Our panorama of research activities and projects includes following areas: colonial history, history of revolutions, history of state and nation building processes, historical investigation of migration and exile, woman-, family- and gender history, transatlantic slave-, slavery-, post-emancipation- and diaspora-investigation, investigation on church, religion and humanism, the history of European and Latin American relations as well as the history of perception and historiography. New areas of research are the history of transculturation, visualization, knowledge and science.
The methods applied by our Cologne department range from traditional historical methods to historic demography and anthropology, from models of transculturation and transference to discourse-analytical methods and micro and macro historical approaches. Also the history of historiography and theory are used.
The Department of Iberian and Latin American History at the University of Cologne is part of important international and interdisciplinary associations. First of all, we are proud of the close interdisciplinary collaboration with the program of “Latin American Area Studies” and the “Cologne Latin American Centre” (CLAC), the “Centre for Inter- and Trans-Cultural Studies” (CITS) and the “Arbeitskreis Spanien-Portugal-Lateinamerika ” (ASPLA - Spain-Portugal-Latin America Working Group). In the field of science organization the Department of Iberian and Latin American History collaborates with the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Lateinamerikaforschung” (ADLAF - German Latin America Research Working Group). Furthermore, we have close alliances with numerous universities in Latin America, Europe and the USA.