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The Estudos Avançados Journal

IEA's journal seeks to fulfill one of the objectives of the institute: to combine academic research and interest in the improvement of the public policies. The areas of scientific knowledge included in the issues (110 so far) are directly articulated with essential themes of the Brazilian and world societies, as poverty, malnutrition and public health system. Some highlights of the latest release are listed below.

Estudos Avançados #110

"The current levels of technological development place the old dilemmas between the positive or perverse effects of the use of technologies in all fields of social existence under new perspectives," says sociologist Sérgio Adorno, editor of IEA's journal Estudos Avançados, when presenting the dossier "Human Implications of Technosciences," the main one of its 110th issue. The digital version is now available, free of charge, at the Scientific Electronic Library Online (Portuguese only).

Adorno emphasizes that the opening article of the dossier, "Diagnostics of Contemporaneity," by semiologist Lucia Santaella, former holder of the Oscar Sala Chair (a partnership of the IEA with the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee), highlights the characteristics of the so-called second era of the internet, "characterized by big data, the explosion of data, and datafication." The author identifies five attributes of this era: hybridity, temporal entanglement, omnipresent interactivity, acceleration, and discursive shattering.


According to Santaella, "the political, cultural, and psychic consequences of these disruptions are many and profound, including the fragmentation and dispersion of old concepts of people, populism, public space, public debate, etc." For her, "ill-informed, rhetorical, and nostalgic sensationalism does nothing to help facing the challenges." As a militant for the advancement of knowledge throughout her entire career, she defends the motto "to understand well to act better, even though this implies engagement in the ethics of the intellect that costs time, dedication, and a lot of study of what counts against the intellectual farces that breed in self-indulgent gregariousness."

Consumption and hypervigilance

Adorno states that the other six articles in the dossier seek to dialogue with Santaella's theoretical-empirical perspective through the analysis of various themes. One of them is the articulation between the experience of consumption as subjectivity and the transformations in global markets over the last 40 years, the subject of “Data Capitalism and Aesthetic Wars,” by Abel Reis and Silvia Piva.

In "Sociotechnical Silencing and the Limits of Instrumental Power," Alcides Peron and Anderson Röhe discuss how electronic resources enable not only hypervigilance, but also risk classification and predictive devices. They warn that these systems, despite acting in crime prediction and risk management, provide the State with a non-violent form of power focused on shaping individuals' behaviors and decisions.

However, digital technologies also enable innovative educational perspectives. An example of this is discussed in the article "Aesthetics, Playability, and Narrative for the Anthropocene," in which Clayton Policarpo, Guilherme Cestari, and Luiz Napole study two video games that, through immersion, premises, and proposed critical scenarios, relate environmental impacts and dystopian perspectives to the future of the human species, a perspective in which "some of the epistemological, ethical, and identity challenges of the Anthropocene are present."

Flying car

A matter of the moment is the technological context of development of the so-called flying car, whose already developed and future models tend to be autonomous (without a pilot). Magaly Prado and Gustavo Galbiatti are the authors of "A Lot of Hot Air? A Feasibility Analysis of Flying Cars as Emission-Free Autonomous Machines." Based on interviews with experts and related bibliography, they analyze technical issues, environmental sustainability, and economic viability of the new vehicle.

Adorno comments that the dossier also revisits "old questions regarding the impact of digital technology in the Brazilian context, focusing on its virtues arising from the expansion of sharing and access to information for a greater number of citizens, but also its dangers in terms of possible effects of domination."

The final article in the dossier, "Technototalitarianism and the Risks for Democracy and Individuals," by Eder Van Pelt, addresses the risks of legitimacy in the exercise of power with the use of new technologies in a possible technocracy that makes the political use of technologies as instruments for controlling individuals' activities. He defends the need to think about effective means for the integration between specialized technology systems and democracy, which leads to concrete possibilities for a more consistent and participatory public debate, especially with the inclusion of all those affected by these new control devices.


The issue also contains two sets of texts. One of them is the "Presences" section, a collection of "suggestive and rich essays on literary criticism," according to Adorno, as well as articles on gender issues. The essays on literature address the following themes: a self-criticism by Euclides da Cunha regarding the meaning of the War of Canudos; precariousness and memory in the fiction of Nélida Piñon and Ana Teresa Torres; the edition of an unpublished poem by Caldas Barbosa; the decomposition of the detective novel genre into a short story by Machado de Assis; the origins of poetry in French by Sérgio Milliet; and the theatrical scene in Bahia in 1551/1552 produced by a Jesuit group linked to Father Manuel da Nóbrega.

Women's participation

The meanings and psychological transformations that accompany women's political participation are discussed based on the life trajectory of one of the participants in the World March of Women (a movement started in 2000), feminist and anti-racist activist Helena Nogueira, who died in 2020. Based on Das Kapital, by Karl Marx, and "Fetishism – Colonizing the Other," by Vladimir Safatle, a further text discusses the "fetishism of the equal, one of the ramifications of commodity fetishism," based on the relationships between the characters from the film "The Second Mother," directed by Anna Muylaert. The section ends with an article about the emancipation of women and the presence of science and mathematics in the newspaper O Quinze de Novembro do Sexo Feminino, a "fortnightly, literary, recreational, news, and political journal" published in Rio de Janeiro in 1889 and 1890 by Francisca Senhorinha de Motta Diniz.

Human evolution

The section "Evolution, Nemory, and Discrimination" presents three articles. The first, with the participation of paleoanthropologist Walter Neves, a senior professor at the IEA, provides a synthesis of human evolution with special attention to issues of the Middle Pleistocene (the period when Homo sapiens emerged), advances in the area, and the Brazilian contribution to the topic. The second critically analyzes how the legacy of the professors of the French Mission at the former Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences, and Languages and Literature at USP became a relevant aspect of memorialistics among participants in the history course. The third theme of the section is the scarcity of conservatives in American academia, with an assessment of the relative strength of four hypotheses for this: meritocracy (less academic aptitude), discrimination, conversion (the environment inducing to the left), and self-selection (voluntary option in not joining the academy).

The issue is completed with reviews of four books: "Arrabalde: In Search of the Amazon," by João Moreira Salles; "The Whiteness Pact," by Cida Bento; "The Margins of Fiction," by Jacques Rancière; and "Conflict Management and Justice: Small Claims in a US Court," by Ann Arbor.