The Center for Inter-American Studies (C.IAS), under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Roberta Maierhofer, was established by the Rectorate of the University of Graz as a platform for interdisciplinary and inter-regional communication and collaboration in the Americas in 2006 and was officially founded in 2007.
This new interest in Inter-American relationships was sparked by processes such as globalization and transnational migration - developments that transform cultural identities and challenge conceptions of “self” and “other.” Especially in Europe, which itself is in the midst of negotiating a “European identity” in addition to national and regional ones, changing reference points demand re-conceptualization of academic perspectives. For European scholars of Inter-American Studies, the “Americaness” of the Americas and the changing qualities of “self” and “other” are of particular interest, encouraging a re-definition of positions and mental frameworks.
By building intra-regional cooperation in international education based on teaching and research, new possibilities of collaboration and mobility are created and a wide variety of research projects in the field of Collective Identities, re-conceptualizing traditional approaches not only in terms of transnational and trans-regional, but also in terms of Euro-American relations, international summer schools, multifaceted lecture series, and publications contribute to the establishment of Inter-American Studies on a national and also international level.
The university's declaration of North-, Central- and South America as the second regional focus alongside the already established focus on South-Eastern Europe in 2012 highlights the commitment of the University of Graz to the study of the Americas.
- Research and teaching
- Establishing a special library
- University-wide as well as external promotion of the new focus area “Inter-American Studies”
- Developing a Joint Master’s Program “Inter-American Studies” and supporting the Joint Master’s Program “English and American Studies”
- Providing detailed information for students and faculty at the University of Graz on course offerings in the field
- International Summer School on the Americas
- Hosting visiting researchers and lecturers
- Organization of lecture series, workshops and conference
- Conceptualization of and participation in research projects and educational programs
- Acquisition of third-party funding for research and teaching