SERGIO BUARQUE DE HOLANDA BRAZILIAN CHAIR OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
At the initiative of the Brazilian government and with the support of the Banco do Brasil, a Brazilian chair of social sciences was created in 1999 at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. The chair is held for one periods of one semester by eminent Brazilian specialists in the social sciences who are invited to teach regular courses at a French institution of higher learning. The chair is open to scholars from all fields in the social sciences and helps French researchers and students become better acquainted with Brazilian research. It also reinforces ties with Brazil. It is a rotating position, which means that each year the chair holder is hosted by a different French university. Scholars must apply for the position and decisions are taken by the Chair’s scientific committee. Part of the chair holder’s mission is to organize colloquiums, conferences, and publications on Brazil alongside other French or foreign scientific institutions that collaborate with the FMSH.
The chair goes by the name Sérgio Buarque de Holanda (1902-1982), an author who played a major role in revamping the social sciences in Brazil. His work Racines du Brésil – written after his return from Europe and inspired by Max Weber’s work – published in 1936 made a profound impact on several generations of researchers and is a major reference in analyzing the obstacles that stood in the way of consolidating a modern and democratic Brazilian State. His other works – such as Vision du Paradis. Les motifs édéniques de la découverte du Brésil or Histoire de la Civilisation Brésilienne – are testaments to his scholarly wisdom and the diversity of his research interests.
A literary critique, professor at the universities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, director of the National Book Institute, of the National Library and of the Museu Paulista, a visiting professor in Europe and the United States, he devoted his career to excellence in teaching and research. His strong moral stances even led him to resigning from USP in 1969 in a display of support for his colleagues that had been fired by the military regime.
Scientific Coordinator: Afrânio Garcia (CRBC-EHESS)
Administrative Coordinator: Josiane Ochoa (FMSH)
Internet site: www.chairesergiobuarque.msh-paris.fr