CALAS guest Chair at the University of Havana

The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities (CALAS) and the University of Havana are offering a scholarship for a CALAS guest Chair, located at the Faculty of Philosophy, History and Sociology at the University of Havana, Cuba. The Chair is funded by CALAS and covers a stay of 4 to 6 months in Cuba.

In line with the CALAS research program, applicants are expected to contribute to the development of new methodological and analytical approaches to continue the debates on past, present and future crises in Latin American and on a global scale. Using a transdisciplinary approach, the guest Chair welcomes specialist researchers to explore the crossroads of these crises, the processes of social change that accompany them, the role played by the different social actors involved, and to contribute to understanding the changes and providing solutions to the crises in the region and the world.

For more information about CALAS, check out the web page:

Thematic focus: Socio-Ecological Transformation - productive matrices, renewable energies and power

Latin America and the world of the 21st century continue to face multiple and cyclical crises.  The environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural imbalances caused by the expansion of extractive activities are just a few of these examples. The current production and consumption system, mainly in the Global North, represent a profound threat to the continuity of life on the planet. Their foundations are subordinated to the logics of capital reproduction and cause irreparable costs in the equilibrium of the global socio-ecological system. Such complexities need to be explored in order to effectively advance towards a global wellbeing with a balance between human and natural life. A possible alternative would be to advance more systematic and accurate results towards socio-ecological transformation from a Latin American perspective.

One of the great and essential challenges for the region continues to be the transformation of its energy matrices towards clean and renewable energies, their extraction regimes, and the use of natural resources.  The great challenge continues to be a structural change: the transformation of the ways of extracting, producing and consuming energy without endangering the preservation of the balance between ecological and social systems.

At the same time, Latin America needs to transform the region's historical production patterns, its exports concentrated basically in massively extracted raw materials, and to rearticulate its capacity for international economic insertion. To do so, it is crucial to advance in the transformation of the productive matrix in the countries of the region: the structures and relations of production and of local, regional and international economic insertion, which are currently deeply marked by low productivity, informality and sectorialization. Dismantling the dependence on natural resources and transforming current energy matrices implies advancing in other forms of productive relations, investment in education, and putting technology and science at the service of productive development.

On the other hand, transforming the productive and energy matrices in Latin American economies is impossible without transforming the power configurations among the different actors involved in collective decision-making processes regarding resource management. Equally relevant for change are the political actors, social groups and communities, along with the objective and subjective conditions for materialization in the transformation process. Furthermore, in this region, political structures have a lack of new impulses to reconfigure these relational power structures that are articulated around the extractive activity of nature and that mediate the balance between institutions and social practices in natural resource-dependent economies. The process of democratization of power management today calls for a redefinition of institutional, representational, regulatory, as well as local, national, regional and organizational arrangements that truly guarantee environmental, economic, social and cultural rights. 

On account of these approaches that the CALAS Chair at the University of Havana aims to advance in the identification of the possible paths that Latin America can follow to consolidate a socio-ecological transformation; and at the same time contribute to offer possible explanations and solutions to the global crises that threaten the continuity of life on the planet. 


Open Call:

The CALAS guest Chair at the University of Havana seeks to promote the study of socio-ecological transformation through the prism of the social and human sciences. Researchers are invited to present projects that address the issues of socio-ecological transformation, focused on the challenges of changes in the productive and energy matrices; connecting the issues of power configurations with the transformation process. Specially invited are projects that promote perspectives that connect with structural, relational and representational reflections, that propose innovative theoretical and methodological approaches which offer new readings and solutions to the multiple crises facing the region and the world regarding these topics.

The call is open to academics with university training in the Humanities or Social Sciences. The minimum academic degree required is a doctorate. In addition, published papers, the scientific reputation, the experience in the research field and the quality of the project being submitted will be evaluated. An excellent mastery of Spanish is required.

CALAS is committed to inclusion and the goal of gender parity.


Conditions of the guest Chair:

The guest Chair is endowed with a competitive monthly stipend to cover the costs of a 4 to 6 month stay in Havana. In the event that the applicant occupies a permanent position at his/her home institution, the scholarship may be used to finance a temporary replacement. In addition, round-trip airfare to Havana and to visit one of the other CALAS affiliated centers in Latin America will be covered.

The University of Havana provides an adequately equipped workplace (technical equipment, Internet access etc.) and the infrastructure of the University (Library, etc.). In addition, it offers research and teaching support staff, as well as assistance in finding accommodation, on-site bureaucratic procedures such as obtaining a visa, etc.

Tasks of the CALAS Visiting Chair in Cuba:

  • Carry out the research project.
  • Present results of the project in a public conference at the University of Havana as well as the CALAS headquarters in Guadalajara, Mexico or one of the other regional offices.
  • Disseminate the results of the project through academic publication(s).
  • Teach two courses (undergraduate/postgraduate) in the University of Havana.
  • Support the University of Havana in postgraduate training.
  • Represent CALAS and its associated institutions in Havana.
  • Prepare a 5-page final report on all activities carried out during the visiting professorship.
  • The Chair holder is expected to reside in Havana for the duration of the fellowship and participate in CALAS guest Chair activities and events in Cuba.



The application form should be filled online and the following documents shall be added in PDF format and in Spanish:

  • A motivation letter in which you explain your skills to occupy the professorship, as well as your expectations.
  • A presentation of the research project, including timeline, work plan and bibliography, with a maximum length of 8 pages/4,000 words.
  • A 2-page resume with a list of recent publications
  • A copy of the Doctoral Degree Certificate

The selection will be made by an International Scientific Committee of CALAS. Due to the number of applications, rejections will not be justified.


Important dates:

  • Deadline to apply: January 30, 2023
  • Decision: March 15, 2023
  • Beginning of the chair: September 1st, 2023


Information about the Guest chair:

Dr. Jochen Kemner, General Manager, The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies

Tel: +52 33 3819 3000 (ext. 23594),


La Habana, Cuba
Monday, August 29, 2022
Monday, August 29, 2022 to Monday, January 30, 2023