Brazil in Global Context (1870-1945)
Research Conference, Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
27-29 October 2011
Deadline: 31 December 2010
The Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) at Freie Universität Berlin is hosting the international research conference “Brazil in Global Context (1870-1945)” from 27 to 29 October 2011 . The conference aims to take stock of developments in the field of Brazilian history as the discipline as a whole is experiencing a shift to transnational and global perspectives. It seeks desiderata and integrates methods and theories from different academic traditions. The conference is organized by the chair of History and the Center for Brazilian Studies at the LAI in cooperation with the Friedrich Meinecke Institute and the Network of Area Histories at Freie Universität Berlin.
In contrast to other national traditions, historians have never viewed Brazil as an isolated unit. Even the earliest historiography described the Brazilian society it was trying to construct as an amalgamation of different cultures: European, African and Amerindian. However, these cultures were either essentialized in themselves or were claimed to have formed the core of something essentially “Brazilian”. Later, in the 1960s and 70s, historians and historical sociologists struggled to understand Brazil’s position as an agrarian economy on the ”periphery” of global capitalism and its scope of agency to escape exploitation by the powerful – and again paid special attention to the global context and exchange over time. Yet, most older studies implied a strict opposition between external interests and collaborating national elites, on the one hand, and resistance from within on the other. We intend to explore whether concepts from transnational and global history prove methodologically beneficial by focusing on entanglement, interaction, transfer, and transnational agents.
We will address these approaches in order to explore themes of Brazilian history between 1870 and 1945 in a global context. We seek contributions dealing with regional and local configurations of global(-izing) processes, emerging concepts of nationhood, reciprocal exchange, and circulation of knowledge. All these were part of processes of globalization, i.e. dynamics of global integration marked by regional fragmentation and conflict-ridden negotiation. The period of intensifying globalization in the late nineteenth century coincided with the “Age of Reform” in Brazil that set in by 1870, while the 1930s and 40s – in Brazil the Vargas era – is often seen as a period of de-globalization and retreat to the national realm. These two phases span the period under discussion.
We encourage contributions dealing with, for instance, infrastructure and communication, the environment, concepts of space and frontiers, transfer of knowledge, expert networks, identity construction, the media, popular culture, social movements and resistance.
Proposals for papers (400 words maximum) should be submitted by 31 December 2010. The conference will be held in Portuguese and English.
Georg Fischer (Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin), firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Peters (Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin), email@example.com
Frederik Schulze (Friedrich Meinecke Institute, Freie Universität Berlin), firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Dr. Stefan Rinke (Chair of Latin American History, Institute for Latin American Studies and Friedrich Meinecke Institute, Freie Universität Berlin), email@example.com