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Revista Brasileira de História

On-line version ISSN 1806-9347

Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.31 no.61 São Paulo  2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-01882011000100001 

FOREWORD

 

 

In 2011 Anpuh is completing half a century of existence and Revista Brasileira de História 30 years. It was created in 1961 during the 1st Meeting of University Professors of History in Marília, with the aim of promoting exchanges between professors and universities. Since its very beginning Anpuh set the standard for similar organizations that were being created in other faculties of philosophy in Brazil. Equally worthy of mention were the struggles carried out under the auspices of Anpuh to improve the quality of teaching and of research in history, as well as in defense of democratic principles and against the arbitrariness and repression of the 1960s and 1970s. The restoration of its trajectory is an important contribution to the understanding of the formation of the field of history as a university discipline and of the history of teaching and research institutions in Brazil.

In 1981 the first issue of Revista Brasileira de História was launched with the aim of creating a way to publicize the production of the Brazilian historians and professors. Initially created in order to fill the gap left by the ending of the publication of Anais dos Simpósios da Anpuh, where until 1978 papers presented at the Anpuh conference were published, Revista Brasileira de História emerged in order to disseminate achievements in the scientific field. According to the foreword written by Professor Alice Canabrava, the first editor, part of the periodical was intended to publicize original articles about research in history or of interest to it. Permanent updating in relation to historic bibliography was the subject of another section. Initially the production of well known historical journals, both national and foreign, was considered, into order to assist professors and researchers to overcome absences in university libraries. This bibliographic information was to be expanded to also publicize comments on historic works. Finally the News section was intended to make the activities of regional group better known and "to give greater publicity to the conclaves of History held in the country and abroad and to other subjects of interest to those active in the field of history" (RBH, vol. 1, no. 1, 1981, p.9).

With two issues a year, RBH has already published 61 issues and a total of 764 texts, including 598 articles and 166 other types of contribution (reviews, interviews, presentations, etc.), while there have been more than 4,700,000 accesses to the SciELO website (from 1998 to the present). As part of the commemorations of the 30th anniversary of RBH, a complete index of the texts published between 1981 and 2010 is accompanying this edition.

Starting in issue 59 RBH entered a new era, becoming solely digital and offering a complete version in English. These innovations aim to expand the scope of the circulation of the journal, giving a public who do not understand Portuguese access to our production, as well as facilitating the consultation of new and old volumes. A balance of the accesses to RBH texts on the internet shows us the dimension and the repercussion that our production can achieve through the web.

In the last ten issues the number of accesses per month has been above 20,000 (more than 240,000 per year), something unthinkable for the printed issues, confirming the great importance of the internet in the dissemination of the content of RBH and making the web a precise instrument for the publicizing of historiography produced in Brazil and about Brazil. The success of the venture, resulting from the collective efforts of the community of history professions, deserved to be celebrated, and for this reason we chose as the theme for this dossier 'Commemorations.'

This dual anniversary of Anpuh and RBH constitutes an important moment of commemoration. As historians we know that commemorating is an act that has greater implications, since it involves choices and projects. Commemoration is the ceremony intended to bring back the memory of persons or events, something that indicates the idea of connections between men, based on memory. This connection can also be called identity. It is exactly because they allow the legitimation and updating of identities that public commemorations occupy such a central role in the contemporary universe.

Contemporary societies, concerned with the acceleration of time and the increased capacity for forgetfulness, have shown great interest in returning to the study of memory and of their own history. As a result there has emerged a constant need to constitute new forms of preservation, memorization, and archiving. Commemorations, thus, assume diversified forms in accordance with the objectives to be achieved: the meaning of many of them is to reinforce concepts and values, and promote consensus and harmony between groups or social actors, though they can also unleash conflicts or tensions. At the beginning of the millennium great challenges are in place for Brazilian society, especially for use, professors of history and historians. Look backward can be useful to better unveil the path ahead. Thus, by recovering aspects of our history commemorating the anniversaries of Anpuh and RBH in this issue, our intention is to transmit to the community of professors and historians a little of what we were, what we are and what we want to be.

In this issue the dossier 'Commemorations' contains nine articles: in his text 'Ensign Gamboa and the society for the Commemoration of the Empire's Independence, 1869-1889,' Hendrik Kraay presents the study of the Brazilian independence festivities held by this society in Rio de Janeiro and reveals a significant popular engagement with the imperial state; Jaime de Almeida in 'A Place of Memory and Oblivion: St. Librada, the patron saint of independence in Colombia' analyzes how a religious image with obscure medieval origins became the object of a civic religious cult concerned with the construction of the memory of the independence of that country; Silvia Capanema Almeida, author of 'From Seaman João Cândido to the Black Admiral: memorial conflicts in the construction of the hero of a centenary revolt,' discusses the consolidation of the Chibata Revolt (Rio de Janeiro, 1910) as a theme of Brazilian national memory, through the analysis of different moments and attempts to recover, appropriate and commemorate the uprising; Silvio Correa's article 'History, memory and commemorations: genocide and the colonial past in Southwestern Africa' deals with some forms of sharing the experience, the duty of memory and the rewriting of history in relation to the genocide during the colonial (1904-1907) in the southwest of Africa; Marcelo Abreu's paper 'Mourning and the Civic Cult of the Dead: tensions in the public memory of the 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution (São Paulo, 1932 -1937)' analyzes the tensions in the public memory of this movement, based on a study of the invention of the civic cult of those killed in combat; Douglas Marcelino in 'Funerals as Civic Liturgies: notes on a field of research' presents the process of the constitution of funerals in civic liturgies, highlighting their relationship with other historic phenomena, such as the shaping of national imaginations, the modern process of individualization and changes in the form of dealing with death; Rodrigo Christofoletti in the text 'Green Rhapsody: Integralist silver jubilee celebrations and the maintenance of its past/present (1957-1958)' looks at the series of events held to commemorate the trajectory of the movement founded in 1932; Angélica Muller in 'You Catch Me Alive, I Escape Dead: the commemoration of the death of students in the resistance against the military regime' analyzes the 'political uses made of the past' by student activists in the 1970s with the intention of reinforcing associative identity and legitimating resistance against the military dictatorship; finalizing the dossier is Marta Mega de Andrade's text 'Funerary Spaces: private dedications and the public exposure of women in Athens (6th-4th centuries BC)' studies the funerary commemoration of women in Athens through epigrams. This involves exploring the hypothesis that funerary contexts, as spaces of 'publicizing' and exposure, show a positive relationship of the multi-polis system with women, through the valorization of questions such as relations with philia and the use of elegies derived from the epic tradition, which in previous epochs had only been used as male funeral elegies.

Six articles are included in the miscellaneous section: in his text 'Media and Memory: the presentation and 'use' of witnesses in sound and image,' Alexander Von Plato deals with the recording of witnesses, as well as the effects of this recording and of the media in general on the people interviewed; In his article 'Universal Exhibitions and the Cinema: history and culture' Eduardo Morettin examines the presence of cinema in these exhibitions between 1893 and 1939; part of a visual culture constructed by these spaces dedicated to celebrating capitalism, the trajectory of cinema was identified with the different world fairs as part of their capacity to entertain and at the same time educate; Diego Santos Vieira de Jesus and Verônica Fernandes in 'From 'Suicide Terror' to 'Barbarianism:' media and exclusion in Brazilian foreign policy - 11 September according to O Globo and Folha de S.Paulo,' examines the coverage of the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the newspapers with the highest circulation in Brazil on the day after the attacks, showing that the actions of these means of communication was fundamental in defining practices of exclusion at the international level; Tania de Luca in her text 'The Production of Press and Propaganda Department (DIP) in US Collections: a case study' analyzes how the actions of DIP as an editor and financer of works favorable to the regime and its presence abroad highlights the efforts to the regime to reach an international audience; In his text 'The Dual Dimension of the Latin American movement of the History of Ideas' Eugênio Rezende de Carvalho aims to offer an analysis of the dual dimension of the intellectual history of ideas movement, organized in Latin America in the 1940s under the outstanding leadership of the Mexican philosopher Leopoldo Zea (1912-2004); completing this section is Alírio Carvalho Cardoso's 'The Conquest of Maranhão and Atlantic Disputes in the Geopolitics of the Iberian Union (1596-1626)' which discusses projects for the occupation or economic exploitation of old Maranhão before 1625. These projects - French, England and Dutch - competed with the Luso-Spanish plan for the occupation of the frontier between the North of Brazil and the Indies of Castile in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Also included in this issue are four reviews: Weder Ferreira da Silva analyzes Memórias e narrativas (auto)biográficas (organized by Gomes & Schmidt); Diogo da Silva Roiz writes about O alufá Rufino: tráfico, escravidão e liberdade no Atlântico negro (1822-1853) (Reis; Gomes & Carvalho); Maria de Fátima Fontes Piazza looks at O Café de Portinari na Exposição do Mundo Português: modernidade e tradição na imagem do Estado Novo brasileiro (by Luciene Lehmkuhl), while Helenice Rodrigues da Silva writes about Pierre Nora - homo historicus (by François Dosse).

We believe that the writings published here can be a stimulus for new research and debates aimed at strengthening the field of work of history processionals. We would thus like to invite our readers to go to the Anpuh and SciELO sites and to download to your computers or digital readers the articles of interest to you. Even though publication on paper may be missed by some (and I include myself here), the digital world is increasingly opening new doors and possibilities.

 

Marieta de Moraes Ferreira
July 2011