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Anthropology, popular culture, and heritage: the Trajectory of Antonio Augusto Arantes

Grant number: 22/03466-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Luís Felipe Bueno Sobral
Grantee:Luiza Venancio Mazieri
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/05567-5 - Historiography of anthropology, AP.JP

Abstract

Along with Peter Fry and Verena Stolcke, Antonio Augusto Arantes (1943) was one of the main responsible parties for the formation of the first classes of anthropology, both at the undergraduate and the graduate level at Unicamp. In the meantime, he was conducting his doctoral research about Cordel literature in the Brazilian Northeast under Edmund Leach's supervision, at King's College, Cambridge. Leach, who was at that moment interested in promoting an interlocution between French structuralism and the British empiricist tradition, supported Arantes in his research on popular culture, strongly fundament in ethnographic work, but with an analytical and methodological structuralism accuracy which was also at its peak in Brazil as well. From this collaboration resulted Arantes' thesis, entitled Sociological Aspects of Folhetos Literature in Northeast Brazil, presented in 1978. Considering the role of Stolcke, Fry, and Arantes, who all became doctors in England, it is difficult to ignore the importance of the British anthropological paradigm in Unicamp. But to understanding, this shared experience is also fundamental to analyzing Arantes' teaching and research trajectory, later on, his interest in popular culture conducting him to a reflection on patrimony. He constituted a career recognized in the subsequent decades: only to cite some forms of his role, he was president of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA), General-secretary at the Latin American Association of Anthropology (ALA), and president at the Institute of the Historical and Artistic National Patrimony (IPHAN). In the context of studies about patrimony he collaborated, alongside UNESCO, with the implementation of the Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Patrimony, as well as coordinated the staff of researchers who elaborated the National Inventory of Cultural References (INRC), adopted by IPHAN as a guideline for working and fundamental for studies about patrimony listing, which should consider the cultural values shared by social groups in their relation to patrimony. Conserved in the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (AEL), Arantes' collection provides the necessary tools, and for now largely unexplored, for a detailed study about the transnational trajectory of this important intellectual, recently named Emeritus Professor of Unicamp, as well as about the relation between anthropology, popular culture, and patrimony.(AU)

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