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The writer and the Ethnographer. Michel Leiris and Ernest Hemingway in Paris between wars

Grant number: 11/19416-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Heloísa André Pontes
Grantee:Luís Felipe Bueno Sobral
Supervisor abroad: Afrânio Raul Garcia Jr.
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France  


In a few books written during the 1930s, the french writer and ethnographer Michel Leiris (1901-1990) and the american writer Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) faced the same subjects: Africa and bullfighting. From a common sociological plan, historically placed on Paris between wars, where Leiris and Hemingway circulated among different social groups - Leiris, among the avantgarde and the first generation of french ethnographers, Hemingway, among the anglophone expatriates -, those books are seen as clues of a wide communication system that operated in the french capital. To describe and explain such system, the investigation follows the principal lead indicated by the books: the separation between ethnography and literature, a historical update of the old enlightenment battle between science and literature from where sociology rised. Who controls the legitimate monopoly to talk about social life? This foreign research project proposes to study this question through the particular case of Michel Leiris, whose intellectual estate was divided between "ethnographic" documents (Bibliothèque du Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale) and "literary" documents (Bibliothèque Littéraire Jacques Doucet). The exploration of these two parisian archives has as aim the contents of the documents and, at the same time, the classificatory principle that organizes them. This archival research is of fundamental importance to understand the social dynamics of the communication system where the ideas about Africa and bullfighting circulated. (AU)

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