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Dialogues Between Brazilian History and Literature

Events

Date:

Friday, May 10, 2013 - 10:00am - 5:30pm

Location:

Center for Latin American Studies

Type:

Conference

Dialogues Between Brazilian History and Literature

Schedule:

10:00am-10:30am

Breakfast and Opening Remarks

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10:30am-12:30pm

“Nature, Landscape, and History in José Lins do Rego and Gilberto Freyre's Work”, 

Thomas D. Rogers (History-Emory)

“Brazilian Constitutional Monarchy and the Threat of ‘South Americanization’: The Case of Joaquim Nabuco”

Robert P. Newcomb (Spanish and Portuguese-UCDavis)

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2:30pm-4:30pm

“The City seen from the Country: Provincials and Rustics in Rio de Janeiro as portrayed in Literature, 1840s-1880s”

 Zephyr Frank (History-Stanford)

“Machado de Assis, Moral Imagination and the Novel”

José Luiz Passos (Spanish and Portuguese-UCLA)

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4:45pm-5:30pm

Round Table led by

Marilia Librandi-Rocha (ILAC-Stanford)

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Abstracts

Thomas D. Rogers, “Nature, Landscape, and History in José Lins do Rego and Gilberto Freyre's Work”

This paper discusses the geographical imagination of these two close friends from the same generation. It explores the place of “nature” and landscape in their work and the relationships between these categories and social order, family and individual trajectories, and the narration of regional history.

Robert P. Newcomb, “Brazilian Constitutional Monarchy and the Threat of ‘South Americanization’: The Case of Joaquim Nabuco”

This paper will analyze the intellectual evolution of Brazilian writer and political figure Joaquim Nabuco (1849-1910). Drawing primarily on journalistic articles, personal letters, and Nabuco’s autobiographical memoir Minha Formação (1900), I will elucidate the philosophical groundwork for Nabuco’s pre-1889 defense of Brazil’s constitutional monarchy, along with Nabuco’s reaction to the end of the Second Empire in 1889 and the perceived threat of the new Brazilian Republic’s "sul-americanização" (South Americanization), as Nabuco termed it. I will conclude with some remarks on Nabuco’s remarkable 1895 volume Balmaceda, in which he looks to Chile’s Revolution of 1891 in arguing for the Chilean “parliamentary republic” as the best available political model for post-Imperial Brazil. 

Zephyr Frank, “The City seen from the Country: Provincials and Rustics in Rio de Janeiro as portrayed in Literature, 1840s-1880s”

This paper examines the way characters of provincial origin are depicted as seeing and thereby interpreting Rio de Janeiro from the point of view of the country. Two main character types are assayed: the parvenu and the rustic hillbilly. In both cases, the point of view of the country is shown to reveal something different and critical about the taken-for-granted life of the great metropolis.

José Luiz Passos, “Machado de Assis, Moral Imagination and the Novel”

Machado de Assis’s novels articulate an effective critique of how determinism undermines agency and impacts the representation of personhood in the public sphere. His depiction of a morally dynamic sense of self is instrumental for a reassessment of social values prior to the abolition of slavery (1888) and the advent of the Republic (1889) in Brazil. His narratives often focus on how protagonists come to terms with the limited chances they have to satisfy their desire to achieve control over others; and how their enlightened self-interest becomes a way of balancing a successful—though rarely unproblematic—social life predicated on a picture they fabricate about their past. Altogether, his works seem to suggest that even in contexts where agents believe they are constrained by a deterministic framework, free will and imputation of culpability are not necessarily precluded. In this paper I try to show how this feature came about, and why psychological depth might become a consequential make-believe game we play with his novels.

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Co-Sponsored by the Department of History, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures.