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Dossier of "Estudos Avançados" #105 discusses challenges and impasses of independent Brazil

by Richard Meckien - published Jul 08, 2022 02:40 PM - - last modified Aug 03, 2023 12:42 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa.

Capa da edição 105 da revista Estudos Avançados

The analysis of relevant themes of the Brazilian social and political life in the last two centuries is the central aspect of the dossier "Bicentennial of Independence," present in the latest issue of the journal Estudos Avançados, a four-monthly publication of the IEA. The online version of issue #105 is now available, free of charge, at the Scientific Electronic Library Online (Portuguese only).

Although the set of texts is not intended to review the historiography of Independence or to fill gaps pointed out by historians and other social scientists, aspects of this type are also present in the articles, says the editor of the publication, sociologist Sérgio Adorno.

The dossier is curated by three USP professors: Carlos Zeron, from the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (FFLCH), Alexandre Macchione Saes, from the School of Economics, Management, Accounting, and Actuarial Sciences (FEA), and Antônio David, from the School of Communications and Arts (ECA). They are authors of the opening article "3 times 22: Ideas of a Modern and Sovereign Brazil Circa 1822, 1922, and 2022," which questions the revisions of the ideas of sovereignty and modernization in essayism and historical-economic thought.

Two main questions have motivated the curators in composing the set of texts: What makes the ideas of sovereignty and modernity unique in Brazilian society? How did the dialectic between modernity and tradition materialize in actions, government plans, public policies, social thought, science, culture, and education, and what are its consequences?

Based on these questions, the dossier explores "challenges and impasses, especially in the contributions that focus on paradoxes and antinomies of social thought in Brazil," explains Adorno. With this perspective, the essays address "the tensions between memory, politics, and the writing of history by highlighting different narratives about Independence as a fact and historical process." One of the texts with this concern is "Memory, Historiography, and Politics: The Independence of Brazil, 200 Years Later," by Cecilia Helena de Salles Oliveira, from USP's Paulista Museum.

In the article "State and Society in Brazil: A Deferred Meeting with Democracy," Andre Botelho, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and Grabriela Nunes Ferreira, from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), discuss decisive moments in which the relations between State and society were problematized, highlighting themes such as political centralization and decentralization, the adequacy of political institutions to the characteristics of society, and the confrontation of the democratic issue.

Close to the present, "2022: The Pact of 1988 under the Sword of Damocles," by Camila Rocha, from FFLCH, and Jonas Medeiros, from the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP), points out how the "crisis of the democratic pact of 1988 originated from new dynamics fostered by the Brazilian post-bourgeois public sphere itself, which developed in the midst of the national redemocratization process."

Commenting on the Brazilian reality of the last 20 years, Kabengele Munanga, a professor retired from FFLCH, reflects on issues regarding diversity. He highlights that conflicts are notably translated into racist and xenophobic practices that engender the violation of the human rights of different people and the resulting social inequalities. The question that arises, he says, is how to establish equity and equality of treatment "without first recognizing the collective existence of the bearers of differences and their identities."

The role of science in the constitution of the Nation and the contribution of the arts in the conformation of the so-called "late modernisms" are analyzed in the articles "The Sciences in the Formation of Brazil from 1822 to 2022: History and Reflections on the Future," by three researchers from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), and "The Modernist Legacy: Reception and Developments in the 1960s and 1970s," by Ivan Francisco Marques, from FFLCH.

Among the texts that discuss post-Independence historiography, the editor cites the "stimulating overview of reference works" present in the interview given to the curators by historian Carlos Guilherme Mota, also retired from FFLCH, and founder and first director of the IEA.

The dossier also brings together analyzes of facts and social processes relevant to the understanding of the Bicentennial. Among them, Adorno lists:

  • the construction of the public sphere since 1822 and its current crises,
  • the social dynamics that establish the existence of armed groups with hegemonic ambitions over territories, populations, and illegal markets,
  • the destruction and degradation of national biomes, beckoning an environmental catastrophe,
  • and the patterns of socio-spatial accumulation and segregation in São Paulo, leveraged by large-scale real estate operations.



"Classics of Education" is the dossier that complements issue #105. According to Adorno, the articles address problems and dilemmas of contemporary education from a specific angle: "Books and authors that, when becoming 'classics' in this field, guided strategic themes for understanding relationships between actors, everyday school life, changing values, challenges in unique periods such as those of pandemics, and, above all, for the formulation of educational public policies."

The texts analyze aspects of works by Israel Scheffler, Maria Helena Souza Patto, Pierre Bourdieu, Jean-Claude Passeron, José Mário Pires Azanha, John Goodlad, Michel Foucault, Herbert Spencer, Émile Durkheim, and Roger Chartier. The authors of the articles are researchers from UNIFESP, UFRJ, USP's School of Education (FE), the Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE), Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), and the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU).

The list below contains the names of the authors who have contributed with each one of the addressed themes:

Bicentennial of Independence

3 times 22: Ideas of a Modern and Sovereign Brazil Circa 1822, 1922, and 2022 - Antônio David, Alexandre Macchione Saes, and Carlos A. de M. R. Zeron
Memory, Historiography, and Politics: The Independence of Brazil, 200 Years Later - Cecilia Helena de Salles Oliveira
State and Society in Brazil: A Deferred Meeting with Democracy - André Botelho and Gabriela Nunes Ferreira
2022: The Pact of 1988 under the Sword of Damocles - Camila Rocha and Jonas Medeiros
Country of the Future? Time Conflicts and Historicity in Contemporary Brazil - Rodrigo Turin
On "Misplaced" Concepts, Historiography, and Ideas - Carlos Guilherme Mota
The World and Diversity: Issues in Debate - Kabengele Munanga
Armed Domains and Their Criminal Governments: A Non-phantasmic Approach to "Organized Crime" - Jacqueline de Oliveira Muniz and Camila Nunes Dias
The Modernist Legacy: Reception and Developments in the 1960s and 1970s - Ivan Francisco Marques
Brazil, 200 Years of Devastation: What Will Remain of the Country after 2022? - Luiz Marques
São Paulo: One Hundred Years of an urban Growth Machine - Mariana Fix and Pedro Fiori Arantes
The Sciences in the Formation of Brazil from 1822 to 2022: History and Reflections on the Future - Nísia Trindade Lima, Dominichi Miranda de Sá, Ingrid Casazza, and Carolina Arouca

Classics of Education

Convergences: Thinking about Teaching and Inequality with Scheffler, Patto, Bourdieu, and Passeron - Juliana de Souza Silva, Katiene Nogueira da Silva, and Renata Marcílio Cândido
“Thinking with” José Mário Pires Azanha about Elaborating Brazil’s Educational Future - Patrícia Aparecida do Amparo, Ana Laura Godinho Lima, and Denice Barbara Catani
Education, Society, and Democracy: John Goodlad’s Legacy - Domingos Fernandes
Michel Foucault in (De)formations: On the Classics and their Uses in the History of Education - José Cláudio Sooma Silva e José Gonçalves Gondra
Science, Evolution, and Education in Herbert Spencer - Décio Gatti Junior e Leonardo Batista dos Santos
Teaching Away from School: Essay on the Representations in E. Durkheim and R. Chartier - Roni Cleber Dias de Menezes e Vivian Batista da Silva