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The intellectual sorcerer: Edison Carneiro and the field of race relations studies in Brazil


This dissertation investigates the social and intellectual trajectory of Edison Carneiro (1912-1972). However, it is neither a biography of the author, nor an interpretation of his oeuvre. Rather, the focus of this work falls on Edison Carneiro's intellectual practices and productions pertaining to the field of studies to which he was closely connected: the field of racial relations studies and the cultural African heritage in Brazilian society. In this sense, it reconstructs the complex web of historical, social and biographical coordinates that not only allowed the inclusion of Edison Carneiro in the debate on "Black matters" in Brazil, but also shaped his strategies for 'intellectual survival' in a context of profound changes unlocked by the institutionalization of the social sciences in Brazil. The conclusions of this dissertation concern both the means through which Edison Carneiro built his intellectual career, seen in the light of the constraints of his status as a "self-taught" and a "provincial" intellectual, and the way a career such as Carneiro's expresses some of the decisive dilemmas that help to understand the formation and development of the racial debate in Brazil, from the 1930s onwards. (AU)

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