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The relationship between Brazilian and Portuguese tropicalist doctors in times of decolonization, 1944-1975

Grant number: 23/04027-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Science
Principal Investigator:Francisco Carlos Palomanes Martinho
Grantee:Ewerton Luiz Figueiredo Moura da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):23/12616-8 - The relationship between Brazilian and Portuguese tropicalist doctors in times of decolonization, 1944-1975, BE.EP.PD


This work plan aims to develop a postdoctoral research on the scope of scientific exchange between Brazilian and Portuguese tropicalist doctors during the 1940s and 1970s. More precisely, the time frame of this study begins in 1944, the year in which that João Fraga de Azevedo and Augusto Salazar Leite, physicians linked to the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Lisbon, carried out a study mission to Brazil, an opportunity in which they visited the Oswaldo Cruz and Butantan Institutes, and ended in 1975, the date of the oficial closing of the Portuguese colonial rule over Africa and also when the Brazilian parasitoligist Leônidas Deane was accepted as a professor at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Lisbon. In the 1950s and 1960s, scientific exchange between Portuguese and Brazilian doctors gained momentum through iniciatives such as the Luso-Brazilian Medical Journeys (1952 and 1956) and the VI and VII International Congresses of Tropical Medicine and Malaria, held, respectively, in Lisbon (1958) and in Rio de Janeiro (1963). At the same time, Luso-Brazilian bilateral relations were marked by the change in the Brazilian government's position regarding decolonization on the African continente: the demonstrations of solidarity by Brazilian representatives at the UN during the Vargas and Kubitschek governments with Portuguese overseas policy gave way to more incisive statements against colonialism in the Quadros and Goulart governments, which coincided with the beginning of the colonial war in Portugal's African possessions. With the civil-military coup of 1964, the Brazilian government took greater care not to displease the Salazar regime in the overseas issue and, from the 1970s onwars, when economic pragmatism began to prevail over ideological orientation in Brazilian foreign policy, Brasília sought to dissociate from the support given to Portuguese colonialism. Thus, by consulting a diverse set of sources, such as: minutes of Brazilian and Portuguese medical associations, journalistic articles and annals of international conferences on tropical medicine, we intend to analyze how the medical-scientific relationship between tropicalists from both countries was used to promote, in Brazil, the Portuguese colonialism practiced in Africa.

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