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Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo



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History of Science
Literature and Anthropology
Comparative Poetics
17th century literature
Early Modern Iberian literature

Nelson Shuchmacher Endebo

I am a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Literature, where I research accounts of interactions between native populations and European settlers in Colonial Latin America, especially in Brazil and Mexico. The questions I explore in my work orbit three concepts that lie at the core of our discipline, namely, analogy, relation and perspective. Methodologically, my work is inspired by ethnography, conceptual history, critical semantics and systems theory.
Since I arrived at Stanford, I have also become drawn to the reports found in the archives of the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian Jesuit missions to Southeast Asia, especially China; subjects such as the first translations of Confucius into Latin, and the Jesuit use of Copernican astronomy for the purposes of evangelization in China. I read these narratives alongside those depicting encounters with native Amerindian populations in the 16th and 17th centuries in order to trace the various genealogies of alterity in Early Modernity.
Currently I am actively involved with faculty and other graduate students across Stanford to develop a comparative framework as well as an institutional space that allows the Humanities to be actually impacted by the wide range of humans it claims to study; the procedures and intellectual protocols of how we produce our work, and the kind of work we are allowed to produce, should be transformed by our engagement with our subjects of study. I am interested in what the history of ideas looks like seen through the eyes of that which has never had, and might very well not have, any proper place in it.
My MA thesis, Grid and Infinity, examined the human significance of GPS technology, articulating Hans Blumenberg’s late phenomenology with the thought of contemporary media theorists such as Sybille Krämer. The thesis was an occasion to form some preliminary hypotheses concerning the anthropological foundations of globalization in terms of the relationship between technology, contingency, alterity and consciousness. Unlikely though it seems, my current work is a direct development of the questions I dealt with in the thesis.
Projects currently underway include a paper on the concept of non-Italian Italian literature; a historical reassessment and reinterpretation of the current state of Antropofagia vis-à-vis the Baroque foundations of the New World; and an afterword to Vilém Flusser’s Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, to be published in the new edition of his Collected Works (São Paulo: É Realizações, forthcoming 2019).
In Spring 2019 I am teaching Accelerated 1st Year Portuguese (2A) M-F 9:30-10:20. E-mail me if you have questions!


2017-present : PhD candidate, Comparative Literature, Stanford University
2017: M.A., Media Theory and Communication, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
2013: B.A., English and German Studies (summa cum laude), Portland State University
2012-13: DAAD scholarship recipient, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Other Information

I am a dedicated jazz, rock, funk and heavy metal music aficionado. You can see me running around campus wearing a Sun Ra t-shirt. Last but not least, I have a non-scholarly but lifelong interest in Jewish culture and thought.