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vol.5 suppl.Enlightened and romantic: the past in Euclides da Cunha’s Os sertõesThe conquest of territory: backlands and frontier in Brazilian thought author indexsubject indexarticles search
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História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos

Print version ISSN 0104-5970On-line version ISSN 1678-4758


LIMA, Nísia Trindade. The civilizing missions of the Republic and interpretations of Brazil. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 1998, vol.5, suppl., pp.163-193. ISSN 0104-5970.

The article discusses how journeys into the Brazilian interior during the first three decades of the Republic played a role in constructing interpretations of Brazil underpinned by the notion of contrast between sertão and coast. This missionary movement heavily imbued with symbolism accompanied official projects in boundary definitions, sanitation, settlement, and economic and political integration. Closely associated with the expansion of government presence, it included among its leadership intellectuals informed by scientism and by the ideals of progress identified with the new regime. Bearing in mind their impact in the process of casting Brazilian social thought, the article discusses representations regarding Euclides da Cunha’s journey to the region of Canudos, immortalized in his classic Os sertões, as well as the representations found in reports by the Rondon Mission and scientific expeditions sponsored by the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz.

Keywords : Republican missions; sertão; backlands; Brazilian social thought; Instituto Oswaldo Cruz’s scientific missions; Euclides da Cunha; Rondon Mission.

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