Research Fields and Lines

Research Field

Power relations and Culture

Both Power Relations and Culture are polysemic concepts that constitute central categories for historical analysis. They appear as obligatory references in the study of a wide range of research objects: labor history, social movements, citizenship, religiosity, material culture, literary culture, historiographical culture, political culture and ideology. By adopting this perspective as the focus of our graduate program, we have distanced ourselves from dichotomous separation between political history and social history. On the contrary, we emphasize the intertwining aspects between them, generating complex and multifaceted realities, which can be approached in different ways, depending on the adopted theoretical and analytical frameworks


Lines of Research

1- Power Relations, Language nd Intellectual History

This line of research integrates projects that focuses on power relations and its manifestations in societies, the uses of language, evidenced in intellectual practices and in the processes of production, circulation and reception of ideas, representations, knowledge and discursive modalities, from different thematics and temporalities, favoring cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approaches.

Its starting point is a broader understanding of the notion of power that goes beyond traditional categories of Political History, such as state, sovereignty, government, etc., to consider it as an effect of the functioning and dynamics of historically constituted social relations and practices, emphasizing the multiplicity of these relations in the configuration and institutionalization of spaces, hierarchies and social networks, in their different forms and contexts. The idea is to surpass the duality of relations of domination / resistance, making the study of cultural mediations, political and intellectual practices more complex.       The uses of language – understood in the diverse (textual, imaginary, sound) modes of symbolic elaboration of experience, shared and socially controlled – underlie sociocultural relations, in different historical times and contexts. Intellectual practices are delimited and organized based on power relations that shape and hierarchize knowledge, discursive regimes, representations, collective identities, groups, institutions and individuals that produce them.       Among the research possibilities linked to the reflections on the language problem, studies in the field of intellectual history stand out, which privilege, among other themes: the history of concepts; the history of historiography and the theoretical-epistemological questions and notions involved in the elaboration of historical knowledge; the history of ideas; and the history of cultural practices and collective representations.       From an interdisciplinary approach, among the possible focuses of investigation are the conditions and contexts of production, reception, circulation and appropriation of collective representations, ideas, concepts, theories, images and worldviews, including the analysis of the constructions of social memory, discursive protocols and strategies, the material and rhetorical dimensions of texts, works and documents, from the reconstruction of their historical meanings.


Researchers linked to this line of research:

  1. Adriana Barreto de Souza
  2. Fabio Henrique Lopes
  3.  Fabio Koifman
  4. José Costa d’Assunção Barros
  5. José Nicolao Julião
  6. Luciana Mendes Gandelman
  7. Luis Edmundo de Souza Moraes
  8. Luiz Guilherme Assis Kalil
  9. Marcelo Otávio Neri de C. Basile
  10. Marcelo Santiago Barriel
  11. Margareth de Almeida Gonçalves
  12. Maria da Gloria de Oliveira
  13. Patricia Souza de Faria
  14. Rebeca Gontijo Teixeira
  15. Surama Conde Sá Pinto
  16. Yllan de Mattos Oliveira


2- Power Relations, Labor and Cultural Practices

This line of research integrates various dimensions of social history, in dialogue with approaches to economic history, political history and culture, focusing on power relations, identity constructions, labor and cultural practices within hierarchies and identities. It focuses on the processes of political participation, the struggles for rights and citizenship and the power struggles between social actors and institutional structures in a global dynamic.

The emergence worldwide of independence processes in the 1960s, and new social movements around the world, which led to important questions guided by diverse identity claims – national, ethnic, racial and gender – sparked intense debate. The historiographic need to integrate various groups and analytical categories in their relationships led to the approximation between history and anthropology. Ethnographic approaches have been incorporated into the analysis of historical processes, paying attention to culture as a polysemic and conflictive field, in its material manifestations and in its symbolic practices, seeking a sense of social belonging without reducing it to its determinants.            This line of research focuses on cultural customs, values and practices, in their multiple temporalities, which define and are defined by social relations at work, in daily life, in leisure spaces and family life. Rituals, parties and celebrations, including the use of the law, the arts and literature, stand beside the rereading of more traditional objects of study, such as those of trade union organization and political parties, as relevant themes that connect various aspects of life. These elements also permeate work processes and production relations, in which ethnic-racial and gender relations have come to be thought of as an inseparable, integral and constituent part of the processes of formation of class cultures, social transformation and the organization of power relations.            We are aware, therefore, of the multiple ways in which power is constituted, including the formation of identities, the establishment of hierarchies and trajectories of social mobility, guided by different logics and dynamics in different temporalities. Our goal is to understand such logics at different times and to explain how they are appropriated by different social groups.            The investigative axes pointed out place discussions about local and global at the center of their interests. On the one hand, the micro analytic perspective makes it possible, in addition to constructing and weaving individual trajectories, to challenge and recompose the context of a non-Eurocentric global history; On the other hand, the development of research on regions not previously studied begins to create the conditions for a history that avoids the application of models generated from empirical studies focused on regions considered “central”, to propose explanations that consider relationships within a more complex framework. broad. In this sense, the effort to integrate the experience of a diversity of individual and collective social agents beyond the borders of the nation state into connected and transnational, comparative and integrated histories, has provided a rich exercise of historiographical renewal.

Researchers linked to this line of research:

  1. Alexandre Fortes
  2. Álvaro Pereira do Nascimento
  3. Carlos Eduardo Coutinho da Costa
  4. Carlos Leonardo Kelmer Mathias
  5. Fabiane Popinigis
  6. Felipe Santos Magalhães (colaborador)
  7. Jean Rodrigues Sales
  8. João Márcio Mendes Pereira
  9. Marcos José de Araújo Caldas
  10. Mônica da Silva Ribeiro
  11. Mônica de Souza Nunes Martins
  12. Pedro Henrique Pedreira Campos
  13. Roberto Guedes Ferreira
  14. Vania Maria Losada Moreira


Postado em 29/01/2020 - 12:47 - Atualizado em 13/01/2021 - 21:47

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