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Voyages to the "center": Latin American travelers in Europe and the United States in the Nineteenth Century

Grant number: 13/15656-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2013 - September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Principal Investigator:Stella Maris Scatena Franco
Grantee:Stella Maris Scatena Franco
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims to study travel reports produced by Latin American men and women who traveled to Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century. The first objective is to assemble a database containing information on all the travel accounts. The database will help facilitate the later research by socialization of the acquired knowledge. The second objective will be a critical reading and analysis of the sources, exercises for which the overall number of travel accounts were selected; some of which are more significant than others for this research. In this part, the project aims to understand how the unequal power relations between places of origin and the destinations of these travelers influenced the development of expressions of identity, which they used to define themselves when in contact with the "Other." While the desire of many of these travelers was to address themselves to countries considered to be at the "center", this motivation gained particular emphasis during the different political situations that affected relations between Latin America and the countries visited during the period of study. Consequently, it is proposed to investigate these nuances and verify the dynamic that shaped the production of identities of Latin American travelers in the nineteenth century. Besides the aforementioned temporal rifts, the project will be attentive to another aspect, namely the issue of gender, making it necessary to compare male and female reports. Seeking to avoid essentialism, the project will attempt to understand whether reality was perceived differently by male and female travelers and provide explanations through historical-cultural evidence. Finally, this project aims to detect the social profiles of these travelers, with particular emphasis on the material conditions of the journeys that were undertaken. (AU)

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