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Presentation

The starting point of project “Africa in Brazil and Brazil in Africa: New Horizons”  is the congregation of researchers from several departments of the University of São Paulo, whose lines of research range from anthropology, literature, social history and culture to economic history, but nonetheless focus on African studies. Headquartered at the NAP Brazil Africa, the project’s broadest purposes have to do with the positive effects of interdisciplinary practices relative to specific fields of knowledge, and to the enhancement of academic relations with Brazilian society. In addition to further contributing with USP’s tradition in African and Afro-Brazilian studies, the project is designed to renovate research possibilities and build knowledge based on an interdisciplinary dialogue and the interface between the disciplines involved.

The project involves professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and is organized based on specific actions, methodologies and topics which generally regard issues on the history of African societies and the processes experienced by such societies in the relationships maintained with Europe, from the maritime expansion throughout the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to the imperialist practices of the nineteenth century. The project is also aimed at understanding the establishment of national states, nationalist movements and circulation of ideas given the participation of the African elites in said processes during the African decolonization period. Studies on material culture based on the dynamics through which artifacts were stored and catalogued in museums and collections are also taken into account, in view of the cultural assets produced by these societies. Likewise, the project also follows the rich African literary production, which is often historically connected to and is even more dynamic because of an intense dialogue with Brazilian literature. Moreover, the ties between Brazil and African societies, the inflections that took place in history and the current situation are the central point of the ideas developed in this project, especially because it takes the importance of the Africans and their descendants into account, as well as the current relevancy of the Brazil – Africa diplomatic, trade and political relations.

The project is centered on the notion that the proposal of interconnecting different temporalities and sketching a long duration perspective based on such temporalities is essential to understand the structuring of contemporary societies and their issues, as well as the fluxes and refluxes of the relationships on both sides of the Atlantic.

Finally, the project also intends do render access to sources easier, whether by means of reference inventories, by reproduction thereof or by building databases and a website to this end. The archives of the University of São Paulo and the scanning of its rare works will be specifically included in for this purpose. 

 

Attached, the complete project.

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