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The Chinese in the Carioca Landscape Through the Eyes of Travelers and Chroniclers

ABSTRACT

The article explores the role of foreign travelers, such as Johan Baptiste Von Spix, Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, Johann Rugendas, Maria Graham, John Luccock, Ernest Ebel, and Carlos Taunay; writers, such as Machado de Assis and João do Rio; and the magazine Revista Illustrada in shaping an imaginary perception of Chinese people in Rio de Janeiro during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Often stigmatized in the West, Chinese people were portrayed in a stereotypical manner, ranging from exotic to - opium-dependent, barbaric, and even lazy. In Brazil, such characteristics clashed with the ideal of civilization and progress, whose paradigm was European, white, Catholic, and civilized. In the context of Edward Said’s post-colonial studies in Orientalism, the article highlights the power relationship that hierarchizes cultures, emphasizing the East as irrational and the West as rational and virtuous.

Keywords
Rio de Janeiro; Chinese; History; Illustrated Magazines; European Travelers

Programa de Pós-Graduação em História Social da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Largo de São Francisco de Paula, n. 1., CEP 20051-070, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel.: (55 21) 2252-8033 R.202, Fax: (55 21) 2221-0341 R.202 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
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