As the structural matrix shows, the Center for Inter-American Studies has so far defined five research areas ("Forschungsfelder") that serve on the one hand the focus region North, Central, and South America ("Interamerica"), on the other hand position research questions within three of the seven designated research areas of the University of Graz offering an immediate network for interdisciplinary collaboration regardless of regional components. The matrix also shows which measures are deemed necessary to achieve the set goals. In addition, C.IAS has very actively applied for project funding on an internal, but also national and international level. These applications, if funding has not yet been granted, can also been seen as envisioned future projects. Almost all projects described in this section of the report are mainly positioned in one of the five defined research areas of the Center (see matrix), with the one exception of the International Summer School, which takes place every year in the summer, and tries to span these research areas.
The Graz University Summer School held at Seggau Castle, Austria, is one of the core activities of the Center for Inter-American Studies. The concept behind these two-week summer universities is that interdisciplinarity and interculturality can be understood theoretically, and can be taught in the act of (re-)negotiating theories, methods and content with teachers and students from different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. The summer schools offer a framework that facilitates interdisciplinarity and interculturality by redefining Europe and the Americas in times of globalization in a comparative analysis of the regions. While the morning lectures offer an open platform of discussion across the disciplines, the afternoon sessions are devoted to small class interaction of topics such as transnationalism and migration, politics and law, history and power, literature and film, society and culture, regional and urban identities, ethics and religion, media and communication, economy and innovation, and aging and demographic change. Within a two-week-period, the close proximity of students and teachers from a variety of different countries provides an intensive teaching/learning environment, and also offers the opportunity to discuss Inter- American studies as an emerging field.
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