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GUMELAB conference “Latin America's Contested Pasts in Telenovelas and TV Series. A Cross-Sector Dialogue between Academia, Entertainment and Society”, September 07-08 at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C.

Sep 07, 2023 - Sep 08, 2023

GUMELAB, together with our cooperation partners from the German Historical Institute, will host the international, inter- and transdisciplinary conference “Latin America's Contested Pasts in Telenovelas and TV Series. A Cross-Sector Dialogue between Academia, Entertainment and Society”.

The depiction of the past is a sensitive topic, affecting different areas of society. Telenovelas and television series dealing with Latin America's contemporary history can convey memory images and political values beyond national borders. The conference will provide a space for discussion and interaction on multiple levels between academics, television industry personnel, civil society organizations and television audiences. The discussion will be centered on the challenges and possibilities of conveying contemporary history in television series and methods for analyzing the creation, impact, and dissemination of these cultural products. There will be two roundtable discussions, followed by a presentation of GUMELAB's research findings and knowledge exchange among guests through a structured conversation process (World Café method) to discuss strategic issues of teaching history in entertainment media. Participants will include guests and collaborators from Colombia, Brazil, Germany, Chile, and the United States.

As kick-off event, the Goethe Institute invites to an interdisciplinary discussion about and film screening of the German-Chilean television series Dignity on September 07.


Friday, September 8, 2023

9:30 am - 5:00 pm | German Historical Institute

9:30 – 9:45 am


Welcome and Introduction

Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington)
Stefan Rinke (GUMELAB, Freie Universität Berlin)

9:45 – 10:00 am


Presentation of Case Studies GUMELAB

10:00 – 11:00 am


Roundtable: Any Resemblance to the Past is pure Coincidence?

Moderation: Mónika Contreras Saiz (GUMELAB, Freie Universität Berlin)

  • María Elena Wood (Wood Producciones, Chile)
  • Andreas Gutzeit (Story House Productions, Germany)
  • Juan Camilo Ferrand (TV Scriptwriter, Colombia-USA)
  • June Carolyn Erlick (Harvard University, USA)

11:00 - 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30 pm


Roundtable: Investigating historical fictions: a walk-through some digital, qualitative and quantitative methods

Moderation: Hannah Müssemann (GUMELAB, Freie Universität Berlin)

  • Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed (Cardiff University, UK & Universidad Externado de Colombia)
  • Claudia Lagos (Universidad de Chile)
  • Juan Piñón (New York University & Obitel Coordinator, USA)
  • Delia González de Reufels (University of Bremen, Germany & Guest Scholar GHI Washington)
  • Leonardo Pachón (Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia) 

12:30 – 1:30 pm


History Transfer through TV Series and Telenovelas in Latin America: Ongoing research results of the GUMELAB Project

Moderation: Tatjana Louis (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)

  • Stefan Rinke
  • Mónika Contreras Saiz
  • Hannah Müssemann
  • Holle Meding

1:30 – 2:30 pm

Catered Lunch

2:30 – 4:00 pm


A Cross-Sector Dialogue between Academia, Entertainment and Society with “World Café” methodology

Moderation: Holle Meding (GUMELAB, Freie Universität Berlin) 

4:00 – 4:15 pm

Coffee Break

4:15 – 5:00 pm 

Plenary Discussion & Concluding Remarks

7:00 pm

Conference Dinner


Time & Location

Sep 07, 2023 - Sep 08, 2023

Washington D.C., USA