Veranstaltung am

Veranstaltungsort: online (zoom)

Terms of Exchange: Brazilian Intellectuals and the Remaking of the French Social Sciences

Some of the most prominent social scientists of the twentieth century began their university careers in Brazil in the 1930s. They include the Annaliste historian Fernand Braudel; the father of structural anthropology, Claude Lévi-Strauss; and lesser-known giants such as Roger Bastide and Pierre Monbeig whose work on settler colonialism and African creole culture prefigured contemporary debates across the humanities and social sciences. Braudel claimed, “It was in Brazil that I became intelligent.” He was not the only one.         

This talk follows these young professors from their time at the newly founded University of São Paulo to their return to France after World War II, using this connected history to examine some of the ways that Brazil and Brazilians influenced the development of French social thought. Specifically, I will demonstrate how Mário de Andrade, Gilberto Freyre, Caio Prado Júnior, and Florestan Fernandes helped their French colleagues to think through the relationships between long-distance trade and the capitalist world system and race and class. If the “terms of exchange” between French and Brazilian intellectuals were and continue to be unequal, this talk will emphasize alternative genealogies that might help global intellectual historians and theoreticians as they look to rethink their own canons and the process of knowledge formation more broadly.

Ian William Merkel (U Turin)

Moderation: Matthias Middell (U Leipzig)



Das Kolloquium des SFB 1199 wird im Wintersemester 2020/2021 in einer Mischung aus begrenzter Präsenz und online-Veranstaltung in hybrider Form stattfinden und Diskussionsrunden, wissenschaftliche Vorträge, eine Buchpräsentation sowie die Eröffnungsfeierlichkeiten zweier Forschungsinstitute umfassen. Bei allen Vorträgen gibt es die Möglichkeit, sie per zoom live mitzuerleben und sich aktiv an deren Diskussion zu beteiligen.