Literature and Society

Research Projects:

Experience and representation in the contemporary narrative

Description: This is a research on narrative in its relation with the problematic notion of experience and the reflection about its production in the contemporary context, understood as that which covers the end of the 20th century to the present day, from a transnational point of view, in which the Narrator category finds itself problematised. It is taken into account, in this context, the give and take relationship between literature and image, literature and comic books, as well as between literature and digital media.

Professor in charge: Andrea Saad Hossne (


Brazilian literature from the 1930s to the 1970s and the interpretations of Brazil

Description: This project aims to investigate the ways in which the interpretations of Brazil are represented and formalised in the works of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Paulo Leminski, and Elizabeth Bishop. It also intends to investigate the degree of tensions and contradictions of such interpretations, in light also of already traditional studies on the modernisation dynamics in the country, as well as on the studies that make the criticism of these classics. On the one hand, the reading of conflicts between the country and the city, between the patriarchal family structure and the dilemma of modern man (in Carlos Drummond de Andrade), throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s and its confrontation with the glance of the foreign writer Elizabeth Bishop (who lived in Brazil in the 1950s and part of the 1960s) to whom such contradictions arise as pictorial elements, allow to contribute to the understanding of key issues to those decisive years, whether in the process of actualisation of the aesthetic consciousness, or in the commitment in ‘(re)discover and (re)interpret’ the country, which was accomplishing another modernisation leap, without, notwithstanding, overcome traditional structures of power. On the other hand, in Paulo Leminski’s interpretation, Brazil appears represented in the tension between civilisation (and rule of ‘enlightenment’) and ‘barbarism’ (in environmental and human nature indomitable and averse to enlightened ‘domestication’), whose outcome would be the impossibility of any rationalisation project. In the late 1950s, and over the 1960s and 1970s, this will not be the only work to propose the impossibility of a ‘miracle,’ which would cease, thus, the ideology of the country as a ‘procession of miracles,’ in Sergio Buarque words. That is how the project aims - in the scope here proposed - to perform the criticism of these literary depictions and of these conceptions that there are formalised.

Professor in charge: Ivone Dare Rabello (


Literary prose and modernization in Brazil: forms and problems

Description: The purpose of this project is to examine forms of Brazilian literary prose (novel, short story, "crônica"), and to investigate their connection with specific moments of economic and social modernization in Brazil. The research is based on the study of the formal structure of literary works written in different historical moments, and aims to identify particularities of the peripheral modernization inscribed in the social content elaborated in the works.

Professor in charge: Edu Teruki Otsuka (


Inquiries on Brazilian poetry and culture in the 1960s and 1970s

Description: In the first part of the project, several poets were object of particular studies: Augusto de Campos, Ferreira Gullar, Francisco Alvim, Armando Freitas Filho, Ana Cristina Cesar, Torquato Neto, Rubens Rodrigues Torres Filho, Sebastião Uchoa Leite, among others. We will now attempt to delve deep into themes and procedures that are common to their work, such as, for instance, irony, time and form, desublimination, subjectivity. The relationship between individual poets and collective projects is also part of the research. Our intention is to ponder about the complex relationship between Brazilian poetry and sociopolitical aspects of those decades. That period of time in Brazil comprises a phase of swift urban transformation and fast internationalization, in addition to debates about the role of art. We propose to unfold our inquest up to the present moment, since many of the selected poets continue to participate actively in today’s cultural debate.

Professor in charge: Viviana Bosi (


Narrative theory: modern Brazilian prose - Phase II

Description: The research aims to analyse and interpret works and authors after the 1930s, especially those that have not received much attention from the academic critique, having written novels, short stories, journals, chronicles etc. We will consider aspects of genre, theme, and historical and literary context.

Professor in charge: Ariovaldo José Vidal (


Theory of the novel: ethics, alterity, and politics in the young emancipated nations

Description: This project aims to meditate upon the process of formation and consolidation of novel as a genre in Brazil and in the United States, starting from its early development in the 19th century. Considering its later artistic legitimation, we should consider the directions the novel and the novel criticism have taken in the 20th century, following the course of avant-garde movements and several modernist generations in Brazil and in the United States. We aim to understand the persistence of certain artistic models and ideologies initiated in the 19th century, as well as see how the novel emerged from new crises and reacted to new social-historical contexts.

Professor in charge: Marcelo Pen Parreira (


Branches of literary criticism and entries: Antonio Candido’s literature, culture and society

Description: The project aims to study some aspects of the critical work of Antonio Candido, taken from two different angles, though complementary, from 1940 to 2007, without discarding the essays that the author shall publish while the research is in progress. In the first part, the entries will be gathered in thematic groups, ranked based on a temporal sequence, so to observe the uses of concepts in a historical perspective. We will also privilege the relations between texts and variant forms. The entries will be followed by a bibliography containing indications on texts related with the base entry, followed by commentaries.  The second part will be dedicated to the analytical study of the essays upon which the project is based.

Professor in charge: Maria Augusta Bernardes Fonseca (


Vicissitudes of Cabral’s hegemony in contemporary Brazilian poetry

Description: Critical analysis of the strong presence of the constructive poetry of João Cabral in Brazilian poetry, especially from the 1990s on, when the relationship with the modern tradition, in what concerns quotation, textual reference and procedure appropriations, set up what I have called ‘frivolous retraditionalization.’

Professor in charge: Iumna Maria Simon (