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Atlantic dilemmas: the resonances of the American Civil War in the thought and political practice of the Viscount of Jequitinhonha

Grant number: 18/16124-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 14, 2019
Effective date (End): July 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Figueiredo Pirola
Grantee:Sebastião Eugenio Ribeiro de Castro Junior
Supervisor: Sidney Chalhoub
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/11799-0 - Dimensions of color and faces of politics in the nineteenth century's Brazil: a study based on the trajectory of the Viscount of Jequitinhonha, BP.DR


Recent studies have been pointing to the deep impact of the outbreak and the unrolling of the American Civil War (1861-1865) over discussions about race, abolition and citizenship in slaveholding Brazil. Even so, we can say that only few researchers ventured to explore the subject through the plots of an individual destiny. The proposal presented in the following pages is intended to face the challenge. In fact, it consists of an unfolding of my PhD project, entitled Dimensions of color and faces of politics in the Second Reign: a study based on the trajectory of the Viscount of Jequitinhonha (PROCESS n. 2017/11799-0). In this way, it also becomes anchored in the transits and experiences of a specific subject, named Francisco Montezuma. In a few words, a free 'colored man' with an excellent transit in the palatial circles and acknowledged by his vivid participation in the construction of the Brazilian imperial state. Carefully followed by figures such as our personage, the conflict that sworn slavery to death on American soil contributed to the evident expansion of the discussions around the meanings of freedom and citizenship in various regions of the Atlantic world. In this sense, it contributed to the opening of a wide range of reflections on the role played by the marks and memories of slavery in the delineation of customary hierarchies and in the production of different identities and forms of social belonging. Not by chance, everything indicates that this atmosphere reverberated, with a great force, on the thought and political practice of the Viscount of Jequitinhonha. But to what extent? In what ways? With what kind of practical effects? In light of private letters, diplomatic documents, and public debates about the paths of slavery in the American continent, these are the questions that I intend to answer through the research I propose here.

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