On Brazilian Authoritarianism


Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S050

Speaker: Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, Full Professor of Anthropology, the University of São Paulo (USP); Visiting Professor, Princeton University
Moderator: Sidney Chalhoub, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, affiliated with Romance Languages and Literatures

Lilia ScwarczLilia Schwarcz argues that authoritarianism is not a contemporary issue in Brazil. Racism, patrimonialism, violence, corruption, intolerance, and inequality stem from the mechanisms of domination inherited from the country's colonial past and long history with slavery. 

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz is Full Professor in Anthropology at the University of São Paulo and Visiting Professor at Princeton. Her main interests are History of the Slaves, Racial Theories, History of the Brazilian Empire, Academic Art, History of Anthropology. She published several books, such as Retrato em branco e negro (1987) [Portrait in White and Black], A longa viagem da biblioteca dos reis (2002) [The long journey of the king’s library], O sol do Brasil (2008) [The Sun of Brazil]; Um Enigma chamado Brasil -- with Andre Botelho -- [One enigma called Brazil] (2013), A Batalha do Avai – with Lucia Stumpf and Carlos Lima, (2014) [The Avai Battle] (20014); among them three in English: Spectacle of Races: Scientists, Institutions and Racial Theories in Brazil at the End of the XIXth Century (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 1999) and The Emperors beard: D. Pedro II a tropical king, (Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2004), and Brazil: a biography – with Heloisa Starling (Farrar Strauss and Giroux and Penguin UK, to be published in 2017), Lima Barreto sad visionary (2017), Dicionário da escravidão e da Liberdade (with Flavio Gomes), 2018, Sobre o autoritarismo no Brasil (2019). She was a curator of some exhibitions like: The great travel of the king’s Library (2006, Rio de Janeiro), and Nicolas-Antoine Taunay: a French translation of the tropics (2008, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), A history of Brazil an interpretation by photographs, (with Boris Kossoy, 2013, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte), Mestizo Histories (with Adriano Pedrosa, 2014, São Paulo), Childhood histories (2016, São Paulo), Sexuality histories (2017, São Paulo), Afro-Atlantic Histories (2018, São Paulo), Women histories (2019, São Paulo). In 2018 she published, with James Green and Victoria Langland, Brazil Reader (Duque University Press). She also edited a volume of the collection History of Brazilian Life in Brazil (Companhia das Letras, 2008), and was chief editor of História do Brasil Nação: 1808-2010 (Fundação Mapfre/ Objetiva) a six volumes series on Brazilian History.

She won five Jabuti Prizes – Brazil’s leading literary prize --for The Emperors beard; History of private life; The Sun of Brazil; An enigma called Brazil, Mestizo Histories (the catalogue) and Lima Barreto: sad visionario. She also won, together with Lucia Stumpf and Carlos Lima, the Brazilian Academy of Letters prize for The Avai Battle.

She was fellow at the Guggenheim Foundation (2006/ 2007), and at the John Carter Brown Library (2007); was a visiting professor at Oxford, Leiden, Princeton and Brown Universities, a Tinker Professor at Columbia University (2008), and since 2011 is Global Professor at Princeton. She was a Member of the Advisor Group for the Harvard Brazilian Office, from 2006 to 2012. She holds a Commend of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit presented by the Presidency of the Republic (2010). She writes regularly for Brazilian newspapers such as: Folha de S Paulo, Estado de S. Paulo, Nexo. Since 2015 she is co-curator (for Histories) at MASP (Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo)

Sidney Chalhoub taught history at the University of Campinas, Brazil, for thirty years. He moved to Harvard in July 2015. He has published three books on the social history of Rio de Janeiro: Trabalho, lar e botequim (1986), on working-class culture in the early twentieth century; Visões da liberdade (1990), on the last decades of slavery in the city; and Cidade febril (1996), on tenements and epidemics in the second half of the nineteenth century. He also published Machado de Assis, historiador (2003), about the literature and political ideas of the most important nineteenth-century Brazilian novelist, and co-edited five other books on the social history of Brazil. His most recent monograph is A força da escravidão: ilegalidade e costume no Brasil oitocentista (2012), on illegal enslavement and the precariousness of freedom in nineteenth-century Brazil. Chalhoub has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (1995, 1999, 2004), a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2007), and a research fellow at Stanford University (2010-11) and in the International Research Center “Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History” (Re:work) at Humbold Universität, Berlin (2013). He was a founder of and remains associated with the Centro de Pesquisa em História Social da Cultura (CECULT), University of Campinas.

Presented in collaboration with the Department of History