Horizontality in Perspective: Interview with Olaf Kaltmeier and Sarah Corona Berkin

Inés Cornejo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
Mario Rufer, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico:

In 2012, the book En diálogo. Metodología horizontales en las ciencias sociales y culturales. (published by Editorial Gedisa, Mexico), coordinated by Sarah Corona Berkin and Olaf Kaltmeier, was published almost simultaneously in Mexico and Germany, here with the titel Methoden dekolonialisieren. Eine Werkzeugkiste zur Demokratisierung der Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften (Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster). The introduction of the book, written by the coordinators, as well as several of the book’s chapters have been cited profoundly and have converted into key input for new theses, research projects, and novel perspectives in the formulation of objects of study. The creation of The Maria Sibylla Merian Center for Advanced Latin American Studies (CALAS) in Latin America with its central headquarters in Guadalajara combined with the center’s concern for developing a line of research that addresses methodical issues (in times of multiple crises), have established these horizontal methodologies as the foundational lenses to rethink research methodologies in the global south. And so, eight years later, we return to Horizontalidad: hacia una crítica de la metodología. The coordinators of this volume wish to recognize the seminal importance of En diálogo… and take a step back in time through an interview with Kaltmeier and Corona Berkin, who contributed to this book as well. As we were finishing this volume, the COVID-19 pandemic radically changed, in a matter of weeks, the dynamics of social life almost everywhere on the planet (including teaching, research, field work, and, in many cases, survival itself). Apart from the serious and unknown circumstances that the global health crisis brought with it, a series of events that we have endured in a systematic way have also become critically evident, and have found in this juncture a place to express themselves and become visible: outbreaks of racism, questionings within various countries of supposedly developed GDP, and the exacerbation of poverty hidden under a mask of prosperity.

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