The process of elaboration of the present proposal started with the arrival of the visiting professors of the Senior Visiting Professor Program CAPES-UNILA, in April 2011. A group of professors then started gathering, under the coordination of two Senior Professors and the collaboration of professors from UFPE and UDELAR (Uruguay), with the goal of building a proposal of a Graduate Program focused on the integration of Latin America.
Since the beginning, we knew that the proposal should be interdisciplinary because the problem/theme of integration can only be understood in its complexity, as said by CAPES in its National Graduate Plan 2010, when analyzed from the convergence of two or more fields of knowledge which do not belong to the same class, if it contributes to the advancement of the borders of science and technology, transfers methods from one area to the other, creating new knowledge or disciplines and if it creates new professionals who are different from the current ones and who have a solid and integrative education background.
Thus, a group of about 20 professors from different areas was formed: Geography, Economics, Political Sciences, Sociology, International Relations, History, Anthropology, Language. These professors had already been interdisciplinarily researching about the integration of Latin America. At the same time, they had been participating in the process of development of the First Education Cycle that involves all the courses of UNILA and also has an interdisciplinary nature. Therefore, the proposal of our program – ICAL – was collectively built and is founded on the research and teaching experience of a solid group of UNILA professors. The building of this program observed the foundational documents of UNILA, its Bylaws and the statute of the university.
ICAL has been articulated with several undergraduate courses of our institution since 2010 and the professors of this Graduate Program are already part of such courses.
Our professors are currently part of the following undergraduate courses of UNILA:
- Anthropology and Latin American Cultural Diversity Science;
- Politics and Sociology: Society, State and Politics in Latin America;
- Economic Sciences: Economics, Integration and Development;
- Geography: Territory and Society in Latin America;
- History: Latin America;
- International Relations and Integration;
- Public Administration and Public Policies.
- Common Cycle of Studies of UNILA
Thus, despite the fact that the Program is part of the Latin American Institute for Economics, Society and Politics (ILAESP), it receives professors and contributions from other Institutes of UNILA due to its interdisciplinary concept which is also a characteristic of the university itself. The pedagogical project which originated its APCN was thought out to suit the Pedagogical Projects of the aforementioned courses.
PPGICAL offers a mandatory discipline about the elaboration of research projects which aims at contributing to the methodological and scientific development of its students so as to make their researches more qualified. Besides, it has a mandatory discipline about regional integration and its multiple aspects and approaches. These disciplines are mandatory for all students, no matter what line of research they choose. Just like the credits regarding the qualification of the thesis and its defense. It is important to highlight that it is mandatory to produce an additional language proficiency examination. For students who are not grant holders it is optional to undergo teaching practice8. Mandatory and elective activities and their credit hours can be found in our Program Bylaws.