About UsRenata Motta


Fiebiger Professorship as part of the Baden-Württemberg Initiative “Kleine Fächer”
HCIAS Deputy Director

Affiliation: Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies
Cooperation: Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences

Email: renata.motta(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Dr. Renata Motta is a sociologist with interdisciplinary research interests. She is the project leader of the research group Food for Justice: Power, Politics and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy (2019-2024), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Renata holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), a master’s degree in Social Sciences from the Universidade de Brasília (Brazil), and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Pontíficia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (Brazil).

Complete CV Renata Motta

Renata Motta

Before joining the HCIAS in August 2022, she was a Junior Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Latin American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin (July 2018 – July 2022), and a Guest Associate Professor of Brazilian Studies and Global Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark (2017-2018). She has been a visiting professor at the Università degli studi di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo (Italy, 2022) and at the Universidade de Brasília (Brasil, 2019).

Renata is currently a member of the European Sociological Association (ESA), the International Sociological Association (ISA), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS), the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), and the Institut für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung (IPB). She was a board member of the Research Committee 47 of the International Sociological Association (2014-2018) and of the ESA Research Network on Risk and Uncertainty (2013-2014). Furthermore, she is a member of the editorial team of the Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais (since February 2021) and of Estudos Sociedade e Agricultura (since March 2021).


Her research is focused on the political sociology of Latin America. She draws on relational approaches to mobilization and demobilization in social movement studies as well as multiscale analytical frameworks. National units of analysis are always embedded in intra-, inter-, and transregional dynamics.

In the sociology of social inequalities, she has been developing theoretical and conceptual approaches, in particular the concept of global entangled inequalities. At the moment, her research applies such frameworks to the topic of food, which is at the core of my research group on socio-ecological change Food for Justice: Power, Politics and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy. Food for Justice combines theoretical perspectives on global inequalities with research on social movements against injustices in the agricultural and food systems. The research questions are elaborated on in case studies in Europe (Germany) and Latin America (Brazil) using qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Within gender studies, I investigate processes of solidarity building and coalitions between womens’ movements, feminist movements, and other social movements. She is interested in understanding the role of feminist movements as central actors of resistance to right-wing conservatism in Latin America, including crimes against land and environmental activists, and the struggle against sexist violence and femicide.


Food for Justice: Power, Politics and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy is a junior research group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (2019-2025). Food for Justice looks into social mobilization targeted at injustices in food systems and into social and political innovations that address inequalities undermining food security such as class, gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

From 2019 to 2022, the project was based at the Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität Berlin. With Renata Campos Motta's transfer to the HCIAS, the Food for Justice research group will also begin its work here in February 2023.

Recent Publications



Winter Semester 2023/2024

  • Theories of Social Change: Contributions from Latin America
  • HCIAS Master's Degree Lecture Series: Approaches, Methods, and Resources in Ibero-American Studies
  • Einführung in Gender Studies (Course offer for BA students)
  • Soziologie des Klimawandels (Course offer for BA students)

HCIAS Course Catalog Winter Semester 2023/2024


Prof. Dr. Renata Motta

Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies | HCIAS
Brunnengasse 1 69117, Heidelberg

Tel: +49 (0)6221 54-19327
Email: renata.motta(at)uni-heidelberg.de

Visiting address: 
Brunnengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg
Room 005 (3012.00.005)

Office Hours

Thursdays 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Only with prior registration under renata.motta(at)uni-heidelberg.de