German and Brazilian Perspectives
Edited By Luiz Estevam de Oliveira Fernandes, Luísa Rauter Pereira and Sérgio da Mata
Introduction: Historiographies in Dialogue
In the second half of the 19th century, faced with the extraordinary conquests made by the experimental sciences, the strategy adopted by the humanities to legitimize themselves as systematic forms of knowledge was to insist on their own “singularity”. In spite of the fact that this important effort directed at differentiation led to some excesses, it cannot be denied that in the humanities, unlike the hard sciences, the use of adjectivation that obeys the criteria of belonging to a national or linguistic community is quite common. Thus, if on the one hand a Brazilian physics does not exist, nobody can deny that a Brazilian historiography does; one that answers specific questions posed by the society that produces it; a historiography that mirrors its society’s own thought style and history.
As a result, it becomes legitimate to inquire into the dynamics of the relationships which over time different historiographic traditions establish with one another. One gets the impression that what, thirty years ago, Carlo Ginzburg dubbed as “unequal exchange” in the historiographic market of ideas is more the rule than the exception. Not that we would defend here a kind of analogue of the dependency theory or seek for an “authentic” Brazilian writing of history. Romanticism had its period in the history of historiography and it is not appropriate to wish to revive it in today’s conditions. The exchange regime that Ginzburg refers to may be unequal, but appropriation almost always implies a process of translation, of...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.