Review: Divanna on Identity in Brazil

Carlos Juliao, Riscos illuminados de figurinhos de broncos e negros dos uzos do Rio de Janeiro e Serro do Frio (Rio de Janeiro, 1960), plate 27, as shown on, sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library."

Divanna, Isabel. “Multi-Faceted Approaches to Identity in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Brazil.” The Historical Journal 53, no. 01 (2010): 225-235.

First paragraph steal:

“The past four decades have seen the rapid expansion of the field of Brazilian studies in the Anglophone world. Brazilian scholars as well as their European and North American counterparts have re-evaluated the role of institutions, racial relations, party politics, and identity construction in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazil, replacing explanations of the colonial and imperial years based on economics with approaches that tend to prioritize politics, culture, and social relations.1 This review looks at recent Anglophone books about Brazilian history to understand how scholars have approached issues relevant to the construction of Brazilian identity from a variety of perspectives. Ranging from the matters of regional identity versus the national paradigm in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the contribution of race to the debates (historiographic and actual) about what constitutes the Brazilian character from 1750 to the present day, and the understanding of the Brazilian political culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the books surveyed here provide insight into the ways through which scholars are studying the creation and development of modern Brazilian identity. One possible comment about the state of Anglophone scholarship of Brazilian identity is, as will become clear in this review, that there is a lack of cross-methodological awareness from different fields of historical research, which often has led approaches to the question of identity to become compartmentalized and intra-disciplinary, as opposed to methodologically comparative. While this problem is not unique to Brazilian scholarship, it merits further attention….”

Cambridge Journals ($$)

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