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The nation's itineraries: national identity and civilization projects in Euclides da Cunha's travel writings on the Brazilian Amazon and Roberto Payró's writings on the Argentinean Patagonia

Grant number: 18/02958-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Stella Maris Scatena Franco
Grantee:José Bento de Oliveira Camassa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

We aim to analyze the intellectual projects linked to national identity and national integration issues in Latin American Belle Époque, by means of the comparison of two travel writings of such period: La Australia Argentina (1898), written by Roberto Jorge Payró (1867-1928), Argentinean writer and journalist, about his travel to the Argentinean Patagonia as a reporter from the La Nación newspaper, based in Buenos Aires; and Euclides da Cunha (1866-1909)'s writings about the Amazon rainforest, based in his travel to that region joining an official expedition organized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Patagonia and the Amazon rainforest, which were generally unknown and regarded as remote, inhospitable and uncivilized by a large group of Argentinean and Brazilian political elites in that time, became a target to the central governments, in a historical context worldly marked by capitalist modernization and imperialist conflicts. In the international scale, the borders of both regions were disputed and in the national scale, both areas offered huge economical potentials (the boom of rubber economy in Brazil and the possibility of expansion of the livestock production areas in Argentina). The growing importance of the two geographical zones shaped great intellectual debates about the establishment of the state's sovereignty in those regions and about the ways those areas would be integrated with their countries as well the role they would play in them. Considering that Cunha's and Payró's travels and travel writings were privileged expedients to join those debates, we objectify to analyze and compare the ways the authors socially, culturally and environmentally represent the regions and the political positions the authors support for them. (AU)

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