On February 22, 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Council for Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, CONACYT) of Mexico and the Centre for Social Studies (Centro de Estudos Sociais, CES) of the University of Coimbra to implement the "Mexico Chair", in order to boost the development of bilateral relations in within the scope of the international scientific cooperation, with the certainty of contributing to strengthen the bonds of friendship and the cooperation in research that, no doubt, favors the relationships between these institutions.
Thus, seeking to develop a mutual understanding through closer cultural and scientific relations and the exchange of researchers, it was decided to create the Mexico Chair, the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, with the main goal of allowing the presence of a renowned Mexican investigator to work with CES scientific community for one year, integrating its activities and participating in its investigations.
The intellectual greatness of Milton Santos and the cross-sectional and original studies that all of his work today represents in the Brazilian cultural scene, as well as in the Portuguese-speaking context, has determined the Chair's profile: a place of transit of transdisciplinary knowledge in their reflections on Brazil and Portuguese-speaking cultures from a perspective that combines the various branches of the social sciences and humanities.
The Mexico Chair aims to be a dynamic and decisive instrument in the strengthening of inter-university relations and multiplying of scientific projects of international dimension and thus provide research and teaching activities of extreme innovation and quality.
The first holder of the Mexico Chair is Victoria Cheanut, a Researcher from Centre for Research and Higher Learning in Social Anthropology (Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social). Victoria Cheanut holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the Michoacán College (Colegio de Michoacán) (Mexico), having developed research on the Totonac people of the 19th Century and early 20th Century, issues of legal pluralism, legal practice, justice and interlegality in indigenous regions and the issue of the intersection between gender and law, among other topics.
At CES, Victoria Cheanut is developing her research plan and delivered the Inaugural Lecture of CES Doctoral Programmes with a paper entitled "Gender and Legal Anthropology in Mexico: Balance and perspectives", on October 4, 2013.