Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia by Anadelia A. Romo

Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia by Anadelia A. Romo

By Anadelia A. Romo

Brazil's northeastern kingdom of Bahia has equipped its economic system round attracting overseas travelers to what's billed because the locus of Afro-Brazilian tradition and the epicenter of Brazilian racial concord. but this inclusive excellent has a sophisticated earlier. Chronicling the discourse between intellectuals and country officers throughout the interval from the abolition of slavery in 1888 to the beginning of Brazil's army regime in 1964, Anadelia Romo uncovers how the state's nonwhite majority moved from being a resource of embarrassment to being a severe component to Bahia's identity.

Romo examines rules of race in key cultural and public arenas via an in depth research of scientific technological know-how, the humanities, schooling, and the social sciences. As she argues, even if Bahian racial notion got here to embody parts of Afro-Brazilian tradition, the presentation of Bahia as a "living museum" threatened by way of social switch portrayed Afro-Bahian tradition and modernity as unavoidably at odds. Romo's finely tuned account complicates our knowing of Brazilian racial ideology and enriches our wisdom of the structures of race throughout Latin the US and the bigger African diaspora.

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Instead of tropical disease and climate, Bahia’s medical reformers of the 1890s shifted their attention increasingly to the field of public health and epidemic disease. Such discussion was not entirely new: outbreaks of yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro finding a cure for bahia 17 and São Paulo in the 1880s had already made such concerns a primary topic of discussion in the Gazeta Médica. 12 Notably, however, bacteriological research remained less important than sanitation reforms for Bahia’s public health advocates.

These tensions between two developing fields — forensic medicine and public health— came to the fore in Bahia’s survey of medical knowledge at its 1890 medical congress. The Third Brazilian Conference on Medicine and Surgery: Bahia’s Racial Schism In 1890 the Bahian medical community gathered itself for a great event: the Brazilian Conference on Medicine and Surgery, inaugurated in 1888, had scheduled its next meeting to be held in Salvador. The Gazeta Médica announced the congress as a forum to address the “special character” of Brazil and to analyze specifically national problems.

Like his Bahian colleagues in public health who wanted to modern28 finding a cure for bahia ize and reform Bahian society, Nina Rodrigues believed in the benefits of strong government programs and established himself as an important advocate for public health reforms. Yet he departed from his Bahian colleagues by speaking frankly, openly, and aggressively about race and by insisting on the centrality of racial and genetic heritage. In fact, Nina Rodrigues is often invoked as the most racially deterministic thinker in Brazil; scholars have often pointed to him as the most open Brazilian proponent of racial difference.

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