Special Issue: Ruptures and Continuities in Brazilian Cultural Production


Guest Editors:

Sara Brandellero, Leiden University
Stephanie Dennison, University of Leeds
Tori Holmes, Queen’s University Belfast

The year 2022 was a significant one in Brazil’s cultural calendar: it marked the bicentenary of Brazil’s independence from Portugal and the centenary of the Modern Art Week in São Paulo, the latter heralded by many as a point of cultural rupture with Brazil’s past. A series of events and publications commemorated the Modern Art Week centenary (13-17 February 2022), both in terms of reflecting on the richness and creativity of Brazilian modernism, and, importantly for this call for contributions, of what has been overlooked/excluded in discussions of this period.

At the same time, the then Federal Culture Secretariat ignored the Modern Art Week centenary, opting instead to promote what it described as works created by “real artists”: Brazilian painting, literature and music that pre-dated the Modern Art Week. In relation to the bicentenary, the Culture Secretariat invested heavily in the promotion of an unrevised history of independence that celebrates “freedom”, while making no reference to the continuation of slavery in the newly independent Brazil. Even with the re-election of Lula in late 2022, the reinstatement of the Ministry of Culture and a nominal return to the cultural policies associated with Lulapetismo, there continues to be resistance to measures that promote diversity and inclusion in the cultural sector.

Faced with such contrasting perspectives, this proposed volume seeks to address the following questions:

  • What are the implications for culture and cultural production of these very differing views on what constitutes “real art”, and of what should be commemorated in the nation’s past?
  • What recent currents and developments have contributed to rethinking and democratising the idea of Brazilian culture?
  • How can Brazilian cultural studies respond critically and productively to past and present entanglements of culture and politics, and/or culture and history/memory?

We encourage articles that engage with “the 22s” and their legacy, as well as those that take a decolonial approach to an analysis of Brazilian cultural production.

We invite 300-word abstracts in English or Portuguese in the first instance with title of proposed article, name and affiliation of contributor, and a bio-sketch of 50 words by 6th November 2023. We expect to communicate decisions on abstracts by 4th December 2023 and to receive full articles following Brasiliana guidelines (here) by 1st March 2024.

Abstract submissions and any inquiries should be sent to rebrac.network@gmail.com