This article questions the usefulness of the category of 'Brazilianist.' This expression, a 'label' for foreigners who study Brazil, emerged in the 1970s, at a time of expansion of Brazilian studies in the United States, which coincided with the anos de chumbo (literally the years of lead, the period of harsh political repression during the dictatorship) in Brazil. For this reason, the concept, born in the context of the Cold War, fatally invokes a US figure with a specific political orientation and whose research contains in itself marks of its point of origin. The argument of the article is that this image of Brazilianist perhaps had a certain utility at that time, but from the 1980s onwards, various changes in the academic world, both in Brazil and in the United States, complicated any effort to differentiate academic production according to the 'place' of the researcher. At the same time, certain persistent aspects in the academic world, including language and public, continued creating some divisions among Brazilianists and historians in Brazil.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science