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Print version ISSN 0104-9313

Mana vol.4 Rio de Janeiro  2008


Empirical foundations of anthropological reasoning: the creation of PPGAS and the selection of scientific species


Fundamentos empíricos da razão antropológica: a criação do PPGAS e a seleção das espécies científicas



Afrânio Garcia Jr.

Anthropologist. Maître de conférence at the EHESS. E-mail:

Translated by Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette
Translation from Mana, Rio de Janeiro, vol.15 no.2, p.411-447, Oct. 2009.




This article examines the profound changes in the meaning of the word "anthropology" throughout Brazil from the creation of a Ph.D. program at the prestigious Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. The work here present also revisits the establishment of structural anthropology at the end of the sixties notwithstanding the controversy raised by kinship theories which opposed the theoretical framework proposed by David Maybury-Lewis to Claude Lévi-Strauss. Both conceptual and methodological innovations were linked to the institutionalization of postgraduate programs and how this in turn, on a larger scale was intertwined with professionalization. To illustrate the alliance's efficiency between the program's "founding fathers", the author analyzes the social and intellectual paths of these scholars (social capital, careers and prestige). Examining the PPGAS archives sheds light on their expectations as well as the strategies that were placed forward when approaching the Ford Foundation for funding either for graduate level teaching or subsidizing regular fieldwork. A study of the social and intellectual characteristics of the various participants in international scientific controversies demonstrates the influence that international power relationships can have on systems of thought.

Key words: Anthropology's meaning, international circulation of ideas, higher education, scientific controversy, reception of Lévi-Strauss in Brazil.


Este artigo busca compreender a profunda mudança de significado da palavra "antropologia" no Brasil, a partir da criação do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Antropologia Social do Museu Nacional; procura ainda estudar a relação entre a controvérsia científica entre David Maybury-Lewis e Claude Lévi-Strauss nos anos sessenta e a introduçao da antropologia estrutural no Brasil. As inovações conceituais e metodológicas são postas em relação com a institucionalização da pós-graduação, abrindo assim perspectivas de profissionalização em larga escala para as novas gerações de praticantes. Para explicitar a eficácia da aliança entre os "pais fundadores" do Programa, são analisadas suas trajetórias sociais e intelectuais baseadas em diferentes capitais sociais, carreiras e prestígio. A consulta dos arquivos PPGAS/MN permitiu objetivar as expectativas e estratégias dos "pais fundadores" ao se aproximarem da Fundaçao Ford para obterem financiamento para ensino de alto nível e trabalho de campo regular. O estudo das características sociais e intelectuais dos diferentes participantes de controvérsias científicas internacionais permite entender como as relações de poder internacional imprimem suas marcas na evolução dos sistemas de pensamento.

Palavras-chave: Significado da antropologia, Circulação internacional de ideias, Educação de alto nível, Controvérsia científica, Recepção de Lévi-Strauss no Brasil.



In loving memory of Lygia Sigaud, who stimulated me to write this article and who contributed to it with criticism and numerous suggestions.


The meaning of anthropology as well as the profession of anthropologist both underwent a profound transformation in Brazil during the 1960s. From the end of the 19th century on, this form of knowledge was practiced in natural history museums, mainly by students of the old School of Medicine. The anthropology department was at that time situated within a greater totality which also contained geography and geology, zoology and botany and this organization was dogmatically followed1. The history of humanity was understood to be a chapter of the history of the planet and the larger set of beings living upon it. In the museums, all of the specialists recruited for scientific careers had the right to call themselves naturalists and they frequently wore the same white lab coats as medical doctors, distinguishing themselves from lesser mortals. Those naturalists who belonged to the anthropology department were initiated in questions, concepts and methods that were specific to the four fields of the discipline: physical anthropology, archeology, linguistics and cultural anthropology.

Each of these domains constituted a sector of the museum, a phenomenon which favored specialization, but all of the scientists collected their materials via expeditions, which often included naturalists from other divisions. Thanks to these expeditions, the naturalists created collections and these, in turn, became both the inspiration for their scientific publications and for the museum's exhibitions which were offered up in the name of the diffusion of knowledge. The evolutionist paradigm, rooted in Darwin's theories regarding natural selection, was the basis for all domains of knowledge which studied living beings.

The creation of the Post-Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (Programa de Pós-Graduação em Antropologia Social do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro - PPGAS/MN) created a rupture with established precedent. This rupture became immediately apparent in those who were recruited for the program. These were people who had studied the human and social sciences at the undergraduate level and included in their ranks philosophers, historians, sociologists, economists, psychologists and law students. Furthermore, if there were medical students included among the new recruits, these passed through the same public competition as the human and social scientists: no longer were they selected individually and assigned to a "master", whose work they would accompany. The education of all students would now emphasize the reading of internationally famous ethnographic monographs and scientific articles. In an analogous fashion, students were pushed to test the most recent theories through prolonged fieldwork, following the model established by Malinowski (1922) in British social anthropology. 

1968 was a year marked by strong social tensions, which were typified by the political mobilization of university students and a subsequent intensification of repression on the part of Brazil's ruling military regime. The opening of a high-quality master's level course dedicated to fieldwork created a privileged "refuge" for the exercise of intellectual activities for young people interested in the social and human sciences and/or persecuted by the military regime. This was especially the case when we take into consideration the fact that Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira, the program's main organizer, had been trained by the "French mission" at the University of São Paulo and thus believed that anthropology should move towards sociology. This belief was shared by Florestan Fernandes, the man who had introduced the field to Cardoso de Oliveira in the 1950s, shortly before Fernandes graduated his first sociology students; one of them was Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Cardoso de Oliveira's brother-in-law.2

Anthropology's approximation with sociology (and, indeed, with political science) during this period was also in part due to the need to construct a common front in the face of the persecutions which the military government had unleashed against social scientists in general. As we shall see, the conditions which favored the creation of a master's program in anthropology (supported by the Ford Foundation and emphasizing fieldwork and the appropriation of up-to-date literature from overseas), when combined with the intensification of the military regime's repression of intellectual activities, resulted in immense efforts on the part of the Program's students to renew the profession of anthropologist in Brazil.


Seeking new umbrellas: from natural history to the social sciences

The creation of the Post-Graduate Program in Social Anthropology (PPGAS) meant the same thing for Brazilian social anthropology as the creation of the Rio de Janeiro University Research Institute (Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro - IUPERJ) meant for the Brazilian social sciences.3 Both organizations were financially supported by the Ford Foundation and were inserted in a new normative academic plan created by the military government. The regime attempted to impose limits on critical thought, promulgating laws and decrees which sought to drive certain professors out of the university system and which strictly controlled access to the positions of professor and researcher (going so far as to demand "certificates of ideology" issued by DOPS (the Department of Social and Political Order) or filled out by the SNI (National Information Service)). However, the military government also sought to create high-quality post-graduate programs, which were understood to be indispensable for Brazil's technological and scientific development and the country's economic growth.

The social and intellectual characteristics of the founders of Brazil's first post-graduate program in social anthropology, taken together with the prior existence of a tradition of fieldwork at the National Museum, had led to the creation of collaborative projects with Harvard University which preceded the foundation of PPGAS. By studying the ways in which the intellectual trajectories of the Program's "founding fathers" (including Harvard's David Maybury-Lewis, who associated himself with Roberto Cardoso and Luiz de Castro Faria in this project) came together, we should thus be able to better comprehend the conditions and expectations of this new institution.

The social, economic and symbolic capital which was mobilized in the Program's foundation partially originated in the North American academic field, but it could only become effective when combined with the capital accumulated by Brazilian professors and researchers. This multi-lateral aspect of the project was certainly responsible for the originality of the Program's teaching and research agenda. If we can't quite classify PPGAS as the "autumn child" of the "French mission" of the 1930s, it's also true that we can't claim that it was a tropical replica of Harvard's PhD program and it certainly wasn't an autochthonous invention.

The Program's hybrid nature was the work of the "founding fathers" themselves. The efficacy of the alliance between these three anthropologists, however, can only be clearly comprehended when we take into account their social characteristics, experiences, scientific and professional projects and the intellectual recognition which they had obtained prior to founding PPGAS.


Roberto Cardoso: a philosopher relearns the virtues of ethnographic fieldwork

It is the Program's first director, Roberto Cardoso (1968 to 1971) who is unanimously acclaimed as the principal organizer of the PPGAS/MN. Born in São Paulo in 1928 to an elite family, his father died when he was four years old, a fact which would mark his early life trajectory. Cardoso's father was a big businessman and coffee exporter who lost everything in the economic crisis of the 1930s. His mother belonged to a long line of imperial nobility whose wealth had also come from coffee. Among his ancestors were a Portuguese intellectual (a professor of rhetoric of Feijó, a major political leader during the Empire) who had been deported to Brazil by the Marquês de Pombal at the end of the 18th century. As a child, Roberto Cardoso lived in the neighborhood of Higienópolis in São Paulo, together with other well-off families such as that of his future brother-in-law. He also attended the most renowned high schools in the city (the Colégio Carlos Gomes and the Colégio Rio Branco).

Apparently, Roberto Cardoso wanted to major in medicine during his university career and he seriously thought about attempting to pass the College of Medicine's entrance exam. However, he ended up deciding to study philosophy at the University of São Paulo, a course which had been organized by French professors in 1934. This change in his intellectual trajectory met strong opposition from his mother.4 Cardoso had to finance his own university career through intermittent work as a journalist and he married early (before undergraduate studies, in fact) with a colleague from his philosophy course who traveled in the same nationalist circles as his brother-in-law.5

At USP, young Roberto was taught by Martial Guéroult, Claude Lefort, Roger Bastide and Gaston Granger and, under the influence of this last professor, he decided to deepen his study of scientific epistemology. As Pierre Bourdieu remarks regarding his own intellectual formation (Bourdieu 2004), during the 1950s, French philosophy was dominated by the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty or Sartre, but a secondary pole concentrating on scientific epistemology was also well-established, represented by the works of Bachelard and Canguilhem.

It was this second orientation that dominated among the French professors teaching at the University of São Paulo. Roberto's colleague José Arthur Gianotti, still today one of Brazil's principle philosophers, dedicated himself from the beginning of his studies to the epistemology of mathematics. Roberto Cardoso, however, decided to examine the philosophical foundations of ethnology and he was the only student in his class who opted for a discipline in the social sciences. He worked with Florestan Fernandes, who had defended his thesis under the orientation of the German ethnologist Herbert Baldus at the Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo. It was during this period that Fernandes — who would succeed to Bastide's position in USP's sociology chair when the latter man returned to France to teach at the Practical School (today's EHESS) — reunited several of his earlier works in one of his most famous books Os fundamentos empíricos da explicação sociológica (the Empirical Foundations of Sociological Explication Fernandes 1959). In this initial contact with sociology and ethnology, Roberto Cardoso mad use of his philosophical knowledge to analyze a familiar topic: the foundations of the most common scientific practices.

It would be his connection with Darcy Ribeiro that would create an inflection in Roberto Cardoso's career, however, by giving the young scholar the possibility to do fieldwork that underlay ethnographic research in the English-speaking world. As the head of the "studies division" of the Indian Museum, Ribeiro invited Cardoso to Rio de Janeiro to join the institution. In 1954, then, Roberto moved to Rio with his family in order to take up his new responsibilities. Both Cardoso and Ribeiro benefited from the collaboration of Eduardo Galvão, the only Brazilian ethnologist at the time who had obtained a PhD (from Columbia University under the orientation of Brazilianist Charles Wagley). At the Indian Museum, Roberto Cardoso did his first field work, initially among the Terena Indians and then among the Tikuna.6 At the same time, from 1955 on, Roberto Cardoso offered classes at the Indian Museum, financed through agencies created by Anisio Teixeira in order to promote the modernization of the Brazilian educational system.7 These included CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Coordinating Center for the Perfection of University-Level Personnel), the CBPE (Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas em Educação – the Brazilian Center for Research in Education) and INEP (Instituto Nacional de Estudos Pedagógicos – the National Institute for Pedagogical Research). The objective of these classes would form ethnologists who were cognizant of the discipline's main current debates and who could formulate theoretical hypotheses that could be proven through ethnographic field work. 

In 1958, Roberto Cardoso left the Museum, following Darcy Ribeiro and Eduardo Galvão, who had abandoned the institution following changes in Indian administration policy which they felt to be unacceptable. Cardoso was then invited by Luiz de Castro Faria to become part of the scientific staff/ of the National Museum. This new position allowed Cardoso to continue with his research among Brazil's indigenous peoples and also to carry on with his pedagogical projects. Beginning in 1960, with the support and participation of Castro Faria, Cardoso organized specialization courses in anthropology which associated theoretical education with obligatory field work (Laraia 2008).

This project's orientation towards the professionalization of a new generation of scholars was quite clear. The future students would pass through an entrance exam that would test their knowledge of international anthropological literature. They would have to dedicate themselves full-time to their studies and this would be possible due to the scholarships distributed by the federal agencies supporting the program. They would also be required to demonstrate their growing domination of the field's literature during the course through participation in seminars. The definition of "domination" was quite strict: all students would be required to conduct fieldwork among Native American groups in order to produce their monographs.8

It's interesting to note that during this same period, following Roger Bastide and Florestan Fernandes' work on social prejudice against blacks in the industrial labor market of São Paulo, research began regarding the descendants of slaves in southern Brazil conducted by Fernandes' students (Octavio Ianni and FernandoHenrique Cardoso.9 In Brazil in the 1960s, becoming an anthropologist meant dedicating oneself to the study of a fairly unknown group which was understood to be set apart from national society: the Native Americans.

On the surface, the 1964 military coup doesn't seem to have affected the activities of the National Museums, unlike many other universities and research centers. Roberto Cardoso issued numerous statements of support in favor of persecuted students and colleagues (Amorim 2001), but the Museum only became seen as a Center of intellectual resistance from 1968 on (as we shall discuss below).  Roberto Cardoso's support networks were heavily impacted by the coup, however. Many of his friends had been removed from their ministerial positions and this fact probably explains the suspension of the classes which had been offered since the beginning of the 1960s.

The forced exile of Cardoso's brother-in-law Fernando Henrique Cardoso and of Darcy Ribeiro, the man who had recruited him for the Indian Museum, as well as the political persecution of Florestan Fernandes, his first mentor, gives us a notion of the width of the collapse of Cardoso's social capital. This situation led to a stricter collaboration with David Maybury-Lewis which, to begin with, allowed Cardoso's doctoral students (Roberto da Matta, Roque de Barros Laraia and Júlio César Melatti) to continue with their dissertation studies at Harvard. This, in turn, proved decisive in the Museum's receiving support from this institution, one of the most prestigious academic centers in North America, when Cardoso sought out financial AID from the Ford Foundation. Everything seems to indicate that Harvard's Anthropology Department and the Ford foundation thus served Cardoso as "alternative allies" following the political and social collapse of the leftist nationalist circles which has supported his pedagogical projects.10

It's important to salient, in this context, that Roberto Cardoso had given little thought to obtaining a PhD of his own since his move to Rio. Instead, he had dedicated himself full time to publishing the results of his fieldwork and to his experiments in educating anthropological professionals. Following 1964, however, the Federal Education Council passed a new set of regulations regarding the administration of post-graduate studies (the "Parecer Sucupira"). These forced Roberto Cardoso to seriously contemplate the need of possessing a doctorate himself. In 1966, then, under the orientation of Florestan Fernandes, he defended a dissertation based upon his most recent research among the Terena populations along the urban frontier: Urbanização e tribalismo: a integração dos Terena em uma sociedade de classes (Urbanization and Tribalism: the Integration of the Terena into Class-based Society, Cardoso de Oliveira 1966). We now must turn, however, to another thread in these interconnected trajectories, that of David Maybury-Lewis. By following this, we will better understand how the American collaborated with Roberto Cardoso in the creation of the PPGAS/MN, eventually becoming the director of Harvard University's Anthropology Department.


David Maybury-Lewis: from Oxford (Great Britain) to Cambridge (United States), imperial ethnologies under the microscope

David Maybury-Lewis belongs to the same generation as Roberto Cardoso, having been born in 1929 in Hyderabad in what was then British India (and is today Pakistan), where his father worked as a hydraulic engineer, being employed in several important positions in this arid region. Maybury-Lewis underwent secondary school education in England during the Second World War and, from 1948 to 1949, was a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces. He studied French, Spanish and Russian at Cambridge (G. B.), where he obtained his license to teach in 1952.

Following graduation, Maybury-Lewis wandered Europe for a year before leaving for Brazil, where he stayed between 1953 and 1955. He studied ethnology in São Paulo under the mentorship of Helbert Baldus while teaching English at a school run by the British Consulate. Thanks to a university scholarship, he spent nine months among the Sherente and Kraho Indians of Central Brazil. His research allowed him to obtain a master's degree at USP, with a thesis on acculturation among Sherente, as well as another at the University of Cambridge and a third at Oxford in Great Britain. In 1957, Maybury-Lewis enrolled in Oxford University's social anthropology doctorate program and undertook fieldwork among the Akwe-Xavante in 1958 and 1960, eventually defending his dissertation on the latter group. 

Following this, Maybury-Lewis left for the United States, where he taught at Harvard (1960) and later (1964-65) was admitted as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of Princeton. By the time he was 35 years old, then, David Maybury-Lewis had passed through the most prestigious social anthropology departments of England and the United States and had already become an associate professor at Harvard. A year following later, in 1962, he created the Harvard-Brazil project for the systematic study of the Gê groups. It was on this occasion that he established the systematic links with Roberto Cardoso that permitted an agreement between the National Museum and Harvard University to be signed on the 10th of May, 1963.

This project was in operation between 1962 and 1966 and was combined with another, created by Roberto Cardoso and financed by CNPq, which proposed the "comparative studies of the indigenous societies of Brazil". David Maybury-Lewis directed the "Central Brazil Gê" project, seeking to systematically study the political systems of indigenous American groups, formally analyze myths (with the aid of mathematical models borrowed from computer sciences) and comparatively analyze social organizations.

Of the eight PhD students financed by this project, three originated in the group formed in 1960-61 at the National Museum by Roberto Cardoso: Roberto da Matta (who worked with the Apinayé), Roque de Barros Laraia (who studied the Sherente) and Júlio César Melatti (who worked with the Kraho).11 This multinational team took part in several colloquia which discussed hypotheses and explanatory models and this collective work no doubt facilitated the later publication of the team members' monographs. The main themes which the group worked with were forms of kinship and marriage, age group organization, brotherhood and modes of social fragmentation.

As Laraia has recently pointed out (2008), even before Maybury-Lewis concluded his PhD (1960), he had published a critique of Lévi-Strauss'  famous article "Les organisations dualistes existent-elles?" (Lévi-Strauss 1956) entitled "The analysis of dual organizations: a methodological critique". This was quickly followed by a response from Lévi-Strauss (1960). One of the main questions of the controversy was in regards to the exogamic character of the Apinayé's ritual halves. This question was only cleared up by R. da Matta doctoral dissertation at Harvard under Maybury-Lewis's mentorship (da Matta 1976 — the PhD dissertation was defended in 1971). This critical dialogue with Lévi-Strauss' structural analyses (based on ethnographic material collected among the Gê groups of Central Brazil) seems to have deeply marked Maybury-Lewis' career: both his entrance into Harvard as well as his exit from Oxford would be marked by this scientific controversy (Laraia 2008:550-551).

In order to continue their joint research projects, Maybury-Lewis and Cardoso solicited funds from the Ford Foundation. An analysis of the correspondence between the two anthropologists from 1966 to 1967 shows that Maybury-Lewis' main preoccupation was to insure the continuance of fieldwork in Brazil. It was Cardoso, then, who first suggested the creation of a master's program, taking up once again his earlier cause. Maybury-Lewis seems to have accepted this idea as a reasonable exchange for Brazilian cooperation in continuing fieldwork and also as a means of widening the reach of the ideas then being discussed at Harvard.

What most preoccupied the British anthropologist, however, was experimentally testing the premises of structural anthropology, as elaborated by Claude Lévi-Strauss, and in particular the Frenchman's propositions regarding dualist societies. We can thus better comprehend the turn Roberto da Matta's theoretical orientations took during his PhD at Harvard, where he made an exhaustive and systematic reading of Lévi-Strauss works during the preparation of his dissertation (later published O mundo dividido). Da Matta's participation in the Harvard debates regarding the pertinence of the knowledge generated by structuralism12 and his creative use of Leví-Strauss' prepositions helped him become the main Brazilian anthropological author of the 1970s. As a "structuralist" professor, da Matta showed how the French anthropologist's contributions went far beyond technical controversies regarding kinship nomenclature, the meaning of totemism, or the relating of myths and ritual practices.

The hegemony of Leví-Strauss' proposals and models of analysis in the English-speaking world thus became a central factor in their being taken up again in Brazil. It was this practical use of Leví-Straussian hypotheses in order to ethnographically describe the ways of life and systematic representations of certain Native American groups (which had never before been studied so systematically) that marked the institutionalization of the French thinker's works as a constituent part of Brazilian anthropology.


Luiz de Castro Faria: amnesia denied, or a naturalist compelled to specialize in social anthropology

An analysis of the social and intellectual trajectory of Luiz de Castro Faria should allow us to comprehend the way in which anthropological research traditions at the National Museum favored the creation of certain distinctive traits in the PPGAS. However, it also shows how certain resistances and even oppositions sprung up with regards to the collective formation of the apprentices in social anthropology which the new program would turn out who were to be, above all else, fervent adepts of the belief that scientific progress could be advanced through fieldwork.

Born in 1913, a generation before the other two "founding fathers" of PPGAS, Castro Faria was (like Roberto Cardoso) the son of a family with solid roots in the Brazilian imperial nobility. Castro Faria concluded his secondary studies with great acclaim in 1932 and apparently wanted to continue his studies at the School of Medicine. Finally, however, he opted for a license in library studies, a surprising choice for a young man of his social class who had graduated with flying colors from the Colégio São Bento, already one of the most prestigious secondary schools in Rio de Janeiro. In 1936, Castro Farias was admitted to the National Museum as a praticante (an unpaid professional) in the National Museum's anthropology division, being promoted to the rank of "voluntary assistant" the following year.13 At the time, one needed to be a member off a relatively well-to-do family in order to accept this sort of position, given that it came with no scholarship or salary during its probationary period.

In 1938, Castro Faria accompanied Lévi-Strauss (Faria 2001) during the Frenchman's expedition to the Serra do Norte, the main source of Tristes Tropiques. This experience of scientific collaboration didn't pan out, however,14 and the two would only meet again in 1953 in Paris, during Castro Faria's internship at the Musée de l'Homme at the invitation of Paul Rivet. The two anthropologists, however, never created any project which followed up on their earlier collaboration. The expedition to the Serra do Norte (also known as the "Lévi-Strauss expedition") was Castro Faria's first experience with fieldwork. His expenses were financed by the São Paulo Secretariat for Culture, under the directorship of Mario de Andrade. His participation in the expedition came only after long negotiations between Claude Lévi-Strauss (supported by Paul Rivet) and the then-director of the National Museum, anthropologist Heloisa Alberto Torres.15 By naming Castro Faria as a member of the expedition, Heloisa Alberto Torres sought to fulfill a demand by the Brazilian Conselho de Fiscalização das Expedições Científicas e Artísticas (Council for the Overview of Scientific and Artistic Expeditions), created in 1933. She also, however, sought to take advantage of the situation to train an apprentice scientist who could later be put to good use by the Museum.  Dinah Lévi-Strauss (who was also interested in the social organization and cosmology of Native American groups) also took part in the expedition, as did a doctor and physical anthropologist, Jean Vellard, who wished to study the anesthetic effects of the curare made by the Amazonian Indians.  The breadth of Castro Faria's scientific interests can be measured by his participation in experiments organized by Dr. Vellard which applied curare to a dog and which were registered in Castro Faria's diary (Faria 2001).

Only in 1944 was Luiz de Castro Faria integrated into the National Museum's staff as a full-fledged scientific professional. He achieved this position via a public competition in which he defended a thesis regarding habitat in Brazil, utilizing material which he had collected in 1938 on the Serra da Norte expedition and on numerous other journeys to the field. In 1948, Castro Faria took a position at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF), where he taught courses on anthropology to students seeking a teaching license in the social sciences.

Educated via an individualized recruitment process, submitting himself to the good will of those who held titled positions, deprived of regular salaries for his work as well as a secure perspective for his future and – ultimately – reduced to the condition of a self-taught scholar, Luiz de Castro Faria offers us an extremely interesting example of how the licensing process in Brazilian education was insufficient when it came to forming anthropological professionals. To such a man, the kind of education offered by the PPGAS/MN could only be seen as a distinct rupture with the insufficiencies of the past and Castro Faria gave all merit for the project's incubation and success to Roberto Cardoso (Faria 1993). In 1968, Castro Faria became the director of the National Museum and enjoyed considerable prestige in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro as an active participant in the debates surrounding university reform, which had been underway since the early 1960s.

It was predictable, however, that Castro Farias' past would result in certain difficulties when dialoguing with the younger professors at the PPGAS. The head of the Museum's Physical Anthropology division, Marilia Alvim, often remarked during meetings of the Anthropology Department in the 1970s and '80s that "Luiz de Castro Faria was our last Franz Boas". In other words, he was the only member of the department who had practiced in the field the four classic specialties of anthropology: archeology, physical anthropology, linguistics and cultural anthropology. This gentle reminder was another way of remarking that, at the time, Castro Faria was the only remaining link between the members of PPGAS and the other sectors of the Museum's Anthropology Department.

In order for us to have an exact measure of the emblematic character of Castro Faria's career, we need only remember that Castro Faria had been elected the first president of the Brazilian Anthropological Association (ABA - created at a congress at the National Museum in 1953 and confirmed by a congress in Salvador, Bahia in 1955). His name was still the central reference at the ABA Congress in Recife in 1978, used to expulse a "big wheel" who had been set over the Association by the military regime, thus restoring ABA's democratic character (which has continued on down to the present day).16

If Castro Faria was successful in his bid in 1978, reuniting a diverse group of young researchers in support of his candidacy, it was largely due to the fact that his research and teaching activities at the PPGAS gave him an aura of erudition conferred by both his long past involvement in the anthropological field and his engagement with the recent changes in the discipline. After 1968, Castro Faria dedicated himself almost exclusively to the domain of social anthropology, which became the persistent object of his research seminars. This in itself is the most evident proof of how anthropological profession had changed in Brazil over the past decades. Castro Faria's mixed disgruntlement and fascination with the proposals contained in the works of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu (authors Faria read and assimilated work during his career at the PPGAS) can doubtless be interpreted as the motive force that drove him to investigate his doubts through systematic research regarding intellectual classifications and the modes of selection and consecration of intellectual classifications in Brazil.17

In 1988, during the PPGAS/MN 20th anniversary celebration, Luiz de Castro Faria was invited to give a speech alongside the the Program's two other "Founding Fathers" and Roberto da Matta. Faria chose a polemical title for his speech, in the form of an open question: "A Tupiniquim Social Anthropology?" As such, he publicly distanced himself in relation to the change in the discipline's name, which had come about due to Social Anthropology's rapid rise along the escalating scale of knowledge.

[...] For many years, the chosen name was 'cultural anthropology' [...]. We like to effectuate a hierarchy, with ethnography, ethnology, cultural anthropology and social anthropology set in that order, from lowest to highest. Social anthropology is situated at the top of the heap, but this is evidently not a naturally occurring state of affairs. "Situated" here means the recognition of a certain produced hierarchy. One must understand what was situated. And here we must admit that we are dealing with a neologism (Faria 1992a:70).

During the same conference, Castro Faria had already called into question the references and the author of the neologism: "who and at what time and place used this resource (the neologism) in order to constitute themselves as the center of discourse?" (Faria 1992a:61).

This frankness in front of his peers in June 1988 illustrates one of the aspects of the link which would unite Castro Faria to Roberto Cardoso: on the 5th of December 1989, Cardoso received the title of Doctor honoris causa from UFRJ. The orator at the ceremony was none other than Luiz de Castro Faria himself, who entitled his speech "Dedication to anthropology – the four seasons of a victorious path" (Faria 1992b). If in France, the name "Claude Lévi-Strauss" is associated as an identifying marker with "social anthropology", denominating a discipline which was once practiced under the rubric of "ethnology", in Brazil, it is Roberto Cardoso who occupies a similar position.

In the intellectual trajectory of both Brazilian scholars, the consecration of the term "social anthropology" validated all the phases of Roberto Cardoso's intellectual trajectory, including his original formation as a philosopher. At the same time, the rise of this term brutally devalued three-fourths of Luiz de Castro Faria's professional experience, diminishing the importance of archeology, linguistics and physical anthropology as significant fields within the discipline. Luiz de Castro Faria stayed with the PPGAS/MN to the very end of his days, actively teaching and researching. This fact, in and of itself, lead to important changes in his intellectual production, as his numerous publications from the first decade of the 21st Century attest to. Ironically, his works from 2000 on are unique in the field, being structural analyses which take as their object the classifications utilized by the "anthropological tribe".

Coming from diverse social, intellectual and geographic backgrounds, the "founding fathers" were joined, however, by a fourth partner which radically changed the general situation: the Ford Foundation. The Foundation funded field research for professors and their students and also paid for the recruitment of researcher-professors who could exclusively dedicate themselves to their tasks. Finally, it subsidized the construction of a library filled with the most recent international anthropological works, as well as complete collections of specialized journals.


The Empire's palace wars as seen from the periphery

Yves Dezalay and Bryan Garth (2002) have examined the activities of the Ford Foundation in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico) as a means utilized by a North-American counter-elite to create alliances among the intellectual elites of dominated countries in order to overthrow the factions in power in both the center and periphery of the global system. In this way, transformations in the field of global power are conceived of as originating in alliances between factions situated in homologous positions within differing national fields of power. These alliances do not necessarily involve pre-existing accords based upon shared ideological bases. This sociology of transnational power privileges the material structures of networks and their practices without necessarily worrying about the ideals preached by the members of these networks. In other words, according to this sort of analysis, shared proclaimed goals do not seem to be an adequate basis for comprehending the strength or fragility of any given alliance. This does not mean, however, that such an analysis has no interest in investigating the rhetoric employed by the actors in these networks, given that the authors' study of the United States began with the origins of the law and development school of thought and followed this up with an analysis of the efforts to export these ideals, which can itself be understood as a search of allies within other national fields which were susceptible to these ideas. 

The liberal American rhetoric of promoting human rights, of restoring the rule of law, or of safeguarding democratic liberties in public spaces actively contributed to the critique of the military regimes which had largely been emplaced in Latin America with the active (and often direct) support of American right-wing "hawks" who tended to see the Cold War in strictly military terms. This defense of the rights of man and the restoration of civil rights illustrated the somber face of the Latin American military dictatorships and provided a "breath of fresh air" to suffocated intellectual communities throughout the Americas. However, a sociological analysis of the American activists who desired to construct an alternative foreign policy based on human rights reveals the continuation of a hegemonic view of the United States as a great power.

According to Dezalay and Garth, the Ford Foundation worked to renew the social sciences in Latin America as a means of combating the international spread of communism and the different variants of Marxism throughout the region. The foundation's overall goal was thus to secure State hegemony as well as improve the popularity of those systems of thought then in vogue among the North American public. In the complex context of the 1960s, those who sought out the aid of the Foundation were often not its ideological fellow travelers, but rather out-of-power groups that sought to install their own political and intellectual hegemony.

The "field of power" concept can be applied both at a national and transnational scale (Bourdieu 1989; Dezalay & Garth 2002) and permits us to study how alliances form and recompose and the cleavages at an international level without having to presume that dominant agents materially and intellectually control the power games in which they are inscribed. At the same time, this theoretical anchoring does not reduce actors' social weight, situating everyone as equally negligible at the international scale, where supposedly only collectivities representing nation-states or their embryos have some degree of agency. The play of alliances and the cleavages in the process known as "globalization" derive from homologies between agents originating and situated in distinct national scenes and never from a common social identity founded upon similar social conditions or cemented by shared points of view with respect to the same social and political alternatives. Consequently, any approximation between sets of actors as diverse as Latin American intellectuals and the Ford Foundation (Pollak 1979, 1985) should be understood as a specific configuration in which the strategies of each involved group may not be clear to all the others.18 Every alliance is a bet made within a space that is opaque to different degrees to different participating groups. Conditions are never completely transparent, even to those groups or agents which are situated as being the most powerful within any given configuration.


Who uses whom?

The correspondence between Roberto Cardoso and David Maybury-Lewis conserved in the PPGAS/MN archives is rich in information with regards to this sort of thing. It permits us to trace, step by step, the negotiations which lead to the creation of this new post-graduate program. Reading the correspondence, we can clearly see the interest the two anthropologists – one Brazilian and the other Anglo-American – had in continuing cooperation between the Harvard Anthropology Department and its counterpart at the National Museum. The idea of creating a master's program in Brazil was initially broached by Roberto Cardoso, while Maybury-Lewis' acceptance of this project sought to give continuity to (or even widen) the research currently being undertaken among the Gê peoples in Brazil

The project was also of interest to Maybury-Lewis given that it would open up Professional opportunities to the three Brazilian PhD students he had welcomed to Harvard between 1960 and 1962: Roberto da Matta, Roque Laraia and Júlio César Mellati. In a long letter by Maybury-Lewis to Cardoso, dated November 30th 1966 and extended in a second communication on December 2nd following a telephone conversation between the two men, the Anglo-American anthropologist related the content of a discussion with Peter Bell of the Peabody Museum in Cambridge (U.S.). In these communications, Maybury-Lewis instructed his Brazilian collaborator on the procedures that should be adopted when dealing with M. Stacey Widdicombe, the Ford Foundation's representative in Brazil: "One thing I forget to mention in my letter was that Bell suggested you should go now to Widdicombe and talk over the whole project. It is Ford Foundation policy that the major impetus should come from the country concerned and not be an outside initiative".

The division of labor between the Brazilian side of the relationship (the main player when it came to teaching) and Harvard (which held hegemonic control over the destiny of the research to be conducted) clearly appears in the final agreement over what would be discussed with Peter Bell, detailing what was expected from the negotiator of the "country taking the main initiative for the project":

That the proposed project be divided in two parts, one concerned primarily with research and one concerned primarily with training and development of the social sciences in Brazil. I have always been interested in both aspects but feel that the second should be firmly directed from Brazil (i.e. by you). I suggested that the research should continue to be directed jointly by Rio and Harvard (i.e. by you and me) as there were many practical and administrative advantages in having the research based in both countries and a genuinely co-operative venture.

The continuation of the correspondence (with Roberto Cardoso responding on the 31st of December, 1966) and the activities which would create PPGAS show that this short synthesis furnishes an exact measure of the contributions each partner would make to the common endeavor. However, the beginning of Maybury-Lewis' letter highlights the uncertainties that the actors had regarding the future and stresses the need to better understand the Four Foundation's deeper strategies in order to avoid being manipulated:

Frankly and between ourselves my impression of the conversation was "mais ou menos" (sic). It seems to be a question of who is going to use whom. The Ford Foundation appeared to be eager to put money into Brazil. On the other hand I got the impression that they were not particularly interested in our research but would be prepared to give the money to it if in so doing they could accomplish their own purposes. I would not mind this at all if I had a clear idea of what their own purposes were, but this, as you know, is not easy to acquire.

The structural analysis of kinship and the rites and myths of the Gê groups of central Brazil were the primary interests of the Harvard anthropologist, but he felt that he hadn't been able to communicate this enthusiasm to the Ford Foundation's representative. On the other hand, it was obvious that the Foundation sought to insert itself in Rio de Janeiro as patrons of the social sciences and that it thus could not ignore an already-extant international network engaged in producing scientifically prestigious research. Unlike economics (Loureiro, 1997) and political science (Canedo, 2009), social anthropology was not high on the American institution's list of priorities, but it could be added to the list of scientific references recognized by the Foundation's international plan:

They clearly wish to build up the social sciences in Brazil. I think they would probably have prepared not to have had to deal with social anthropologists but are faced, to a certain extent, with no other choice since we appear to be most lively research group in this particularly field. Therefore I suppose they would be prepared to give money to social anthropology.

Throughout his letter, however, Maybury-Lewis relates the Ford Foundation's misgivings towards cooperating with the PPGAS/MN, given that the Program was under the leadership of Roberto Cardoso, the brother-in-law of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a man whose reputation was on the rise following his move to Santiago do Chile and the publication of his first works on dependency theory. These reservations probably had to do with the entire group which had coalesced around Florestan Fernandes, an old friend of David's as well, the two having met during Maybury-Lewis' stay in São Paulo after completing his first master's degree. It thus became clear that the Ford Foundation sought to stimulate scientific competition with an eye to reorienting the Brazilian social sciences and creating opposition to the Marxist paradigm. Within this project, the São Paulo group which had formed around Fernandes was seen with some suspicion, even though they had long distanced themselves from any sort of communist orthodoxy.

Be that as it may, the Ford Foundation eventually wound up financing CEBRAP (Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planificação – the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning) in São Paulo, a research center, directed by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, which regularly engaged in scientific exchange with the researcher-professors of the PPGAS/MN. This situation once again demonstrates how alliances and cleavages in this sort of political field are subject to day-to-day shifts and reformulations. The quotidian behavior of each actor serves as a sign of the evolution of power relationships. The correspondence between the PPGAS' "founding fathers" is quite explicit regarding the attempts that were made to distance the Paulistas from the new high-level groups of researcher-professors then under formation. The doubt expressed above regarding "Who will use whom?" was thus quite significant:

More over I am not absolutely certain in my own mind that the Ford Foundation is willing to give money with no strings attached. I was amazed when I mentioned to Peter Bell that we hope to cooperate with some of the sociologists in São Paulo and he replied that perhaps their work was not as good as it might be because of its Marxist orientation. Now, you know my own view on this and you know that I for example thought that Fernando Enrique's book A metamorfose do escravo (sic) was spoiled by his Marxist style polemics. Nevertheless it should be clear to anybody who has the slightest knowledge of Brazilian sociology that the important work being done in this field stems from Florestan Fernandes and the people whom he has gathered around him. It is ridiculous to think that we are somehow going to procure empirical sociologists with no views on anything to bring back the 'true facts' on Brazil.

The errors displayed above seem to me to be significant. Maybury-Lewis misspells Fernando Henrique Cardoso's name and also errs with regards to the title of his thesis and the following book. The exact reference is Capitalismo e escravidão no Brasil meridional (Capitalism and Slavery in Southern Brazil, 1962) and the book opens with an introduction dedicated to praising the dialectic method in the social sciences.  The book Metamorfose do escravo, (The Metamorphosis of the Slave), also published in 1962 as part of the same collection containing Fernando Henrique Cardoso's work, was the result of Octavio Ianni's doctoral thesis. This book was also dedicated to the analysis of the legacy of slavery in southern Brazil and also had a Marxist orientation. In a 1977 edition of his book, Fernando Henrique Cardoso reaffirmed his identity as a "disciple of the French Mission" of the 1930s and '40s and as Marxist dialectician':

The generation prior to mine, that of Florestan Fernandes, Antônio Cândido, Gioconda Mussolini, Mário Wagner Vieira da Cunha, Lourival Gomes Machado and many others, had renewed university life under the direct influence of foreign professors and men like Fernando de Azevedo. The continuous search for a "scientific pattern of work", the discipline of field and historical research, the many years of contact with such professors as Roger Bastide, Fernand Braudel, Pierre Monbeig, Lévi-Strauss, Emílio Willems and so many others had created a model for the university career and of intellectual production. The presence of some of these foreign professors, added to the ardor of those who had been educated by them and those who had, by their own efforts, attempted to replace the Brazilian essayist tradition with sociology transmitted to us a sense of intellectual responsibility. This led us to work long and hard on our master's and doctoral theses…. The preface... documents the theoretical force and heavy burden which the option for a Marxist dialect meant at the time….  Florestan Fernandes, tormented by the obsession to develop a sociology which was not a simple positive affirmation of the pre-existing order, opened up the possibility for the use of the dialectic as one of three basic methods: functionalism, from Max Weber, and dialectics. The majority of those who participated in the "Marx Seminar" attributed a wider theoretical status to the dialectics, accepting the utilization of other methods as secondary (Cardoso 1977 [1962]:11-12).

Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Octavio Ianni's books were certainly decisive contributions in affirming Marxism as the dominant paradigm in Brazilian sociology between 1960 and the end of the 1970s. The Ford Foundation, however, had initially set its sights on the group of young people who were to become the dominant pole of the Brazilian social sciences at the end of the 1960s.  The only name which could throw a shadow over this group (but who was its objective ally) was that of Celso Furtado. 

David Maybury-Lewis thus eloquently described the absurdity of the belief that the Harvard team could somehow join the military regime's chorus with regards to the sociology coming out of USP at the time. One simply couldn't wipe out the achievements of the "São Paulo School of Sociology" or, even less, all of the debates which had already come out of Brazilian sociology in general. This lucidity in the negotiations with American funding agencies like the Ford Foundation resulted in an expansion of the margins of the research which would be conducted by the PPGAS in the future. Maybury-Lewis expresses trust in his overseas partner and appeals to Cardoso's notable talents as a negotiator in order to decipher the strategies used by the Foundation and not assume commitments which would jeopardize their common endeavor:

All of this has been pessimistic so far, so I want to end on a more cheerful note. I did not by any means have a negative impression of Bell or of the Ford Foundation. Furthermore it seems to me to be very likely that they will give us money. The problem at this moment is simply whether we will be prepared to accept their conditions and I do hope that you will have an opportunity to explore this matter with your customary subtlety when you next talk to Stacey Widdicombe.

The creation of the PPGAS/MN was consequently predicated upon the mobilization of all the scientific and institutional authority which the "founding fathers" had accumulated through their previous experiences and their knowledge of the Brazilian and international academic universes. The goal of this endeavor was to ensure the continuity of both the research into the Gê groups and the pedagogical projects which had been coalescing in Brazil at the Museum. The new academic organism would be able to dedicate itself to post-graduate education, with field research funded by pedagogic authorities. Not for nothing, then, was entrance into the PPGAS seen by young students as a sort of "arrival in paradise", given that post-graduate studies and financing for fieldwork were considered to be extremely rare by all prior generations of Brazilian intellectuals.

The quality of education at the National Museum approached that of the British and American institutions which David Maybury-Lewis had passed through and stood in strong contrast to the educational experiences of Luiz de Castro Faria and even of Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira. Favorable material conditions permitted the experiment to be expanded in the 1960s, with the recruitment of Roberto da Matta, Roque de Barros Laraia, Júlio César Mellatti, Alcida Ramos, Maria Andrea Loyola, Maria Stella Amorim and many others. These financial donations also permitted the Program to widen the range of its investigations and, to a certain extent, fill the gap left by the virulent repression of the military government of the fields of sociology, history, philosophy and even economics.

The structuralist vogue associated on an international level with the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss thus appeared as something of a sign, indicating a new era for the social sciences. Furthermore, in spite of what today's common sense in the Brazilian social sciences might indicate, Marxism wasn't ignored by Lévi-Strauss, as chapter XVI of Structural Anthropology makes quite plain. In the 1958 French edition of this book, this chapter never published before in English, Lévi-Strauss created a polemical argument with Georges Gurvitch, Maxime Rodinson and the editorial staff of the La nouvelle critique regarding the concept of social structure. This, of course, was the famous text in which the expression "to exasperate Billancourt" appeared, a historical reference which presumed knowledge of the localization of the working class bases of CGT and PC unionism in Paris.

This short and polemical chapter concludes with Lévi-Strauss affirming the convergences between his approach and the historical legacy of Marx and Engels' theoretical works:

As we have seen, this was not Marx and Engels' opinion. They believed that in pre-capitalist or non-capitalist societies, consanguineous ties played a much greater role than class relations. I do not believe, however, that I have shown myself to be unfaithful to their teachings in attempting, 60 years after Lewis M. Morgan (whom Marx and Engels greatly admired), to take up once again this man's project and elaborate a new typology of kinship systems under the light of the knowledge that has since been acquired by myself and others through fieldwork (Lévi-Strauss 1958:373-374).

All conditions united to produce a situation in which the legacy of structural anthropology became a scientific object of the first order in 1970s Brazil. For the new generations of students, intellectual challenges added to professional challenges: a deep engagement with reinventing anthropology seemed to be one of the rare solutions to repression when faced with a public space marked by censorship and hidden quotidian violence.


Hell in paradise

It is interesting to accompany the manners in which researcher-professors were recruited by the PPGAS once Ford Foundation financing had been obtained. Among the new hires were: Francisca Isabel Vieira Keller, a graduate of USP and the author of a thesis regarding Japanese immigrants; Otávio Guilherme Alves Velho, the first student to defend his master's thesis at the PPGAS, in 1970, and who would go on to defend his doctoral dissertation at the University of Manchester in Great Britain, under the mentorship of Peter Worsley; Moacir Gracindo Soares Palmeira, the author of a dissertation defended at the University of Paris regarding the feudalism/capitalism debate in characterizing social relationships in the country, done in the light of the "intellectual field" concept as elaborated by Pierre Bourdieu; Lygia Maria Sigaud, whose master's thesis at PPGAS and doctoral dissertation at USP dealt with the ways in which sugar plantation workers (themselves the descendents of slaves) interpreted the social transformations provoked by the application of social rights. Also recruited were Neuma Aguiar and Roger Walker, two sociologists educated in the United States, and Paulo Marcos Amorim, an ethnologist educated at the PPGAS who shared an interest in the problems developed by Roberto Cardoso and whose research dealt with a group of Potiguara fishermen along Traição Bay. Additionally, the connection that Roberto Cardoso established with Manuel Diegues Jr., the director of the Centro Latino-americano de Ciências Sociais (Latin American Social Sciences Center), facilitated the PPGAS' collaboration with Argentine sociologist Jorge Graciarena and Mexican anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla.

This far from exhaustive list of the professors who were present at the creation of PPGAS (1966-68) reveals how the list of topics considered to be relevant for research was quickly and decisively widened, distancing the identification of "social anthropology" from the social or cosmological organization of the Native American groups of Central Brazil and the Amazon.  In the preface to his dissertation ((1973, and the resulting book a year later), Otávio Velho, for example, thanked Roberto Cardoso for directing him to study the Amazon's agrarian frontier and credits David Maybury-Lewis with the suggestion to compare this to other historical examples (the USA and the USSR). The Ford Foundation also received thanks for having financed his two stays in Manchester as well as Maria Andrea Loyola's doctorate in France, both scholars having received scholarships for study in Europe which allowed to escape persecution at the hands of the military regime. 

We can also recall that Luiz de Castro Faria served as a witness in Velho's defense when the younger scholar had been accused of subversive acts and became the object of a police investigation. The existence of such a climate, in which solidarity between "professors" and "apprentices" occurred on all planes of daily life, makes it easier to understand why so many students professed their faith in the promising destiny of the PPGAS/MN: "Participation in the PPGAS has been very valuable to me. As I said in the original preface to my dissertation, the Program has been an oasis for study, debate and research in the social sciences and it's true importance will only be fully understood in the future"  (Velho 1974:7).

The hopes of the new generation created personal engagements which went far beyond the simple consideration of the professional career paths which were now finally opening. It should be recognized in this context that the research projects conceived and presented after 1966 under the constant correction of David Maybury-Lewis and Roberto Cardoso, was known, significantly, as the "Comparative Study of Regional Development" and focused on the transformation of the rural world or commerce and craftsmanship in the small and mid-sized towns of the Brazilian northeast and Amazonia. The programs of seminars from this time that have been conserved in the Museum's archives demonstrate an association between the study of the classics of Brazilian sociology (Gilberto Freyre, Florestan Fernandes etc.) and debates regarding "peasant societies", in which the theories of Robert Redfield were confronted with new data regarding Russia and Central Europe.19  Roberto Cardoso and David Maybury-Lewis directed the seminars in which this literature was most studied. Luiz de Castro Faria, for his part in these seminars, focused on the recent controversies in "economic anthropology" and most particularly on the debate between formalists and substantivists in the English-speaking universe following the publication of Karl Polanyi's famous book (1957) and its repercussion's in France through the intermediation of Maurice Godelier (1966) (Faria 2006:77-86).

Courses at the PPGAS began in August 1968, five months before Institutional Act #5 was decreed. With this act, the military closed down all juridical possibilities for confronting arbitrary imprisonment and systematic torture in Brazil. The Act also consecrated the regime's ability to expulse students and professors from public institutions of higher learning through the simple expedient of publishing their names on a ban list emitted by the military high command. The social sciences were especially hard hit by IA5, especially in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. It was during this period that Roberto Cardoso declared that post-graduate studies in social anthropology could serve as a refuge for the younger generations who had been blocked in their intellectual trajectory providing, of course, that they'd be willing to dialogue with the discipline's national and international past. From that point on, social anthropology in Brazil became a field for the reconversion of young university students who had otherwise been impeded from reinventing the conditions of their future professions.

It's important to thus understand the Double bind which weighed upon these younger generations of students. The conditions of the doctoral program were unmatched by anything which had previously occurred in Brazil. But God help these "new heirs" of anthropology if they rested on their laurels for the general situation of the university deteriorated with each passing day. Intellectual debate and university exchange practically shut down. Publishers were harassed, collections and scientific journals were closed, classes and colloquiums were strictly watched and new hires needed to provide a "statement of ideological purity" in order to assume their responsibilities. The challenges were many and not trivial. Living these dilemmas as a form of "intellectual resistance" to the military's arbitrary decrees allowed a certain number of the PPGAS' new students to accept the hard conditions implied in anthropological fieldwork. Being able to daily produce solid ethnographic work which dialogued with different currents of "international" theory allowed one to present research contributions which broke through the military regime's institutionalized intellectual blockade. This paradoxical configuration, which combined extremely favorable material conditions for social-scientific research with overwhelming repression, offers up a clue for us to better comprehend why Brazil's most innovative research programs appeared during the darkest days of the military regime. For the anthropology students and researchers, the asceticism of research substituted the earlier infinite energy which had been dedicated to public demonstrations.

Roberto Cardoso's comments in 1988, the year Brazil received its new democratic constitution, highlight his desire to attract to social anthropology individuals who had prior training in sociology, history, law, economy, using them to reinvent the profession of anthropologist in Brazil, emphasizing its "social anthropological" aspects:

It's interesting to note that the intellectual interests of the great majority of the students concentrated on the study of Brazilian society: only a few were interested in looking at indigenous societies. The flow of these students to anthropology and the National Museum – a discipline and an institution traditionally associated with indigenous ethnology – is a fact that deserves reflection. It always seems to us that this flow was due to the fact that the space otherwise occupied by sociology in our society was vacant. That discipline had only been taught in Rio de Janeiro in the Colleges of Philosophy and these had been heavily hit by military repression during the years of the authoritarian state in Brazil (Cardoso de Oliveira 1992:53).

It was as if everything was conspiring – both in terms of favorable and unfavorable conditions – so that research in anthropology would oblige all the agents mobilized in the founding of the PPGAS to reinvent the profession's modes of existence and the foundations of its intellectual work. Both the old "masters" as well as the new "apprentices" were caught up in this endeavor. In this context, dialogue with the international scene became even more interesting given the military government's desire to monopolize the world's conceptions of Brazil and Brazilianness.


The mobility of scientific missions in power disputes

In a future work, we will deal with how the PPGAS/MN was threatened with disintegration when Ford Foundation funding was brutally cut in 1972. This resulted in the mobilization of the professor-researchers and students in order to save the institution, generating a series of new research projects and institutional reorientations under the directorship of Roberto da Matta.20

I believe that these changes only reinforced the general picture which I have analyzed above. It was only in 1974 that the professor-researchers recruited with the Ford Foundation's money were integrated into the UFRJ system, reducing the precariousness of the masters' program. From that moment on, the PPGAS was strongly supported by FINEP (Financing for Studies and Projects - Financiamento de Estudos e Projetos), under the direction of economist José Pelúcio Ferreira. Ferreira himself was associated with nationalist circles and took up the banner which had been waved in earlier days by such "spirits of the State" as Anísio Teixeira, Celso Furtado and José Leite Lopes. From that point on, Brazilian financing institutions and agencies recognized the need for fully supporting the "cosmopolitan transplant" that was PPGAS.

The incorporation of three new researcher-professors contributed to the increasing diversification of the PPGAS lines of social anthropological research. Giralda Seyferth was initially hired by the National Museum for the physical anthropology department, but she dedicated herself to the study of the relationship between Brazil's racial question and European immigration during the 19th century (when German immigrants formed a new peasantry in southern Brazil). Gilberto Cardoso Alves Velho, originally a professor at the Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Sociais (Institute of Philosophy and Social Science - IFCS), was recruited to PPGAS and opened up "urban anthropology" through the study of the lifestyles of Rio's privileged and middle classes..21 The ethnomusicologist Anthony Seeger, a close associate of Roberto da Matta since the latter man's internship at Harvard, arrived from the United States to reinforce Native American studies. And finally, around 1977, professors began to be recruited through public competitions, permitting the entrance of the first doctors who had graduated from the PPGAS: José Sérgio Leite Lopes (differentiation among industrial workers and workers' cultures), João Pacheco de Oliveira (Native American studies, interethnic friction), Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (Native American studies, cosmology and kinship), Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte (the cognitive universe of fishing populations, psychicism among the popular and middle classes) and Afrânio Raul Garcia Jr. (peasantry and migrations).

This new wave of recruitment conferred a certain stability to the PPGAS' various interests, diversifying methods of investigation and the treatment of field data and intensifying the coexistence of differing theoretical perspectives within the program. The institutionalization of the "excellent" category, conferred by CAPES/MEC upon deserving graduate programs from the late 1970s on (in which Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira played a key role, even though he no longer had any administrative link to the PPGAS/MN), consecrated the institution as innovative and pioneering. In Cardoso's 1988 testimony, he took up once again the question of the renewal of anthropological research in Brazil, a question firmly associated by that time with the graduate program that he had helped establish at the National Museum:

Though I had no longer been attached to the Museum since 1972 when I left the institution, I always followed the Program's activities and, on many occasions, participated on master's and doctoral defense committees. Furthermore, the experience that I had acquired through 14 years of work at the Museum allowed me to set up a similar program at the University of Brasília[...] What most caught my attention, however, as an absolute indicator of PPGAS' consolidation, was the Program's integration of a significant part of its best students as professors. It's obvious that a program can only be considered to be consolidated when it produces competent professionals and excellent theses and dissertations. PPGAS met these two requirements with flying colors and thus renewed itself, bringing into its ranks as professors its most competent grad students. Some of these were my students, such as Otávio Velho, Lygia Sigaud, Gilberto Velho, Giralda Seyferth, José Sérgio Leite Lopes, Afrânio Garcia and João Pacheco (this last a student at UnB); others weren't, such as Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. In any case, I accompanied all their successes in their careers as PPGAS professors and authors of valuable contributions top anthropology (Cardoso de Oliveira 1992:54-55).

Cardoso de Oliveira concludes his remarks about the PPGAS' pedagogical activities by recognizing the Program's debt to his successor, Roberto da Matta, who met the Program's final challenges on the road to definitive institutionalization: "I believe we must recognize the role played by Roberto da Matta — beside the excellent anthropology he always taught – in consolidating the PPGAS, along with the roles played by his other colleagues, of course" (Cardoso de Oliveira 1992:56).


The odyssey of the founding fathers

Upon leaving the Museum in 1972 following a disagreement with its director over the established criteria for the promotion of a professor (Cardoso de Oliveira 1992:55), Roberto Cardoso spent a year at Harvard on a Ford Foundation scholarship.22 Upon his return to Brazil and at the invitation of Roque de Barros Laraia, he organized the Graduate Program in social Anthropology at the University of Brasília in 1972, later becoming the Director of Human Sciences Department (1973-1975) and, finally, the director of the university's Human Sciences Institute (1980-1985). His trajectory did not end there, however. From 1984 on, Cardoso de Oliveira contributed decisively to the organization of UNICAMP's doctoral program (Debert 2006; Correa & Laraia 1992; Amorim 2001). He was thus directly involved in setting up three of the four programs in anthropology currently recognized by CAPES as excellent. The fourth, of course, was the one from which he graduated: USP. This "true disciple of the French mission" of the 1930s and '40s always emphasized his loyalty to his alma-mater, as did his brother-in-law Fernando Henrique Cardoso, his sister-in-law, anthropologist Ruth Leite Cardoso and philosopher José Arthur Gianotti. However, even though his work was closely associated with that of Florestan Fernandes — particularly with regards to the problems Cardoso de Oliveira chose to study — he was never recognized as a member of the "Paulista school of sociology". His proximity with Florestan Fernandes was such that the latter man's famous book O negro no mundo dos brancos paraphrased in its title the title of Cardoso's doctoral dissertation (with the anthropologist's explicit permission - Amorim 2001).

Cardoso's status as a national-level anthropologist – without his having been assimilated by any metropolitan university – has contributed to his image as decisive player in the institutionalization of social anthropology as a discipline linked to scientific research in Brazil.

We do not have space to analyze the careers of Cardoso's other colleagues from USP.23 In any case, his installation at UNICAMP instead of USP underlined the increasing diversification in upper-level education in the state of São Paulo. Cardoso's role as a schumpterian entrepreneur in the creation of doctoral programs reveals the rapid and intense expansion of this field in Brazil. It must also be noted that he was the director of many scientific associations and the founder of the Anuário Antropológico, which he directed from 1976 to 1985. Cardoso thus directly promoted the institutionalization of professional knowledge transmission and research communication instruments on a national scale. Retrospectively, the creation of PPGAS/MN seems less the result of the mobilization of all his previous experience in the service of confronting the scientific challenges of Brazil's military period (establishing alliances with authors who were highly positioned within North American anthropology) than it seems a testimony to his vocation as an institutional innovator (Amorim 2001:15-36).

The interest of the young Harvard anthropologists in kinship and cosmology of the Native Americans of Central Brazil originated in a scientific controversy that was broached in European journals regarding the very specific question of the role of dualistic organizations in the understanding of societies based on kinship structures. No actor, no matter how powerful, ever controlled the entire set of partners who were interested in the growing prestige of social anthropology. As we can see, the evolution of the institutionalization of the discipline in Brazil cannot be reduced to one actor's or group's projects or plans.

We shall now turn to the trajectory of Cardoso's international partner, David Maybury-Lewis. After spending some months in Rio in the company of Roberto Cardoso in order to firm up the PPGAS/MN project, he became a consultant for the Ford Foundation and the central director of Harvard's Anthropology Department. Maybury-Lewis then consolidated his image as a thinker who was deeply concerned with the destinies of the populations studied by anthropologists and he created one of the first NGOs dedicated to the defense of American Indian and other so-called "primitive" cultures: Cultural Survival (Davis 2008). His collaboration with Cardoso, begun in 1962, extended throughout the Brazilian anthropologist's career in a durable alliance that only ended with the death of both men in 2008 (Cardoso de Oliveira 2008).

It should be mentioned, in this context, that Harvard's linkages with the University of Brasília are even more significant in this respect than its connections to the PPGAS/MN, given that among the researcher-professors in Brasília, the number of Harvard PhDs is higher than in either Rio or São Paulo.24 Among them is Luiz Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira, the first born son of the founder of the PPGAS/MN, who defended his masters (on agriculture in Mato Gross) at that UnB and his doctorate (regarding juridical difference and moral reparations in a Canadian court house) at Harvard.25 Marisa Peirano also obtained a PhD at Harvard and has looked at the intellectual linkages between Brazilian and North American anthropologists throughout her career and in collaboration with her colleagues at the National Museum (Peirano 1981, 1992, 2008).

By way of conclusion, it is only when we understand the social and intellectual genesis of the PPGAS/MN as the crystallization of a node of an international network then undergoing rapid expansion, both in Brazil and internationally, that the process becomes clear.  It also shows the diversification of the field of contemporary anthropology and its globalized26 modes of existence, as well as the national modalities by which this field of knowledge has taken root in Brazil.


Universal hypotheses and the institutional resources to test them

In the same way that the scientific controversy initiated by the debate between David Maybury-Lewis and Lévi-Strauss evolved to the point where it created the Central Brasil Gê Project, a close analysis of Tristes Tropiques shows that the hypotheses of structural anthropology derive not only from Lévi-Strauss' recruitment as a professor during the founding years of USP but, above all else, from his years in the United States during the Second World War. This opened the way for Lévi-Strauss' collaboration with Jakobson and his later journeys to Asia as a UNESCO collaborator. Everything indicates that structural anthropology's reception in Brazil was more due to the hegemony of the intellectual practices of Anglo-Saxon anthropology rather than to any bilateral exchange between   our country and France. In any case, the study presented here serves to alert us against excessively simplistic and deterministic explanations regarding the diffusion of new scientific paradigms, underlining the importance, in understanding these processes, of the sociological observation of the actors involved in international scientific controversies. Paying attention to the sociology of actors and institutions does not remove our responsibility for understanding the roles played by key texts or theoretical positions in creating paradigmatic change in a given scientific field. It is, however, often the only way in which we can penetrate the origin myths which surround and are often unquestioned by a given intellectual community.

As Gaston Bachelard has shown, one must comprehend the set of intellectual and material means which are mobilized to bring about new ways of thought in science in order to understand these new paradigms themselves. As the implementation of the Harvard/Central Brazil Project shows, these scientific operations depend more on the access to material and institutional resources than they do on the exercise of speculative thought itself.

The reconstitution of the social conditions necessary to establish and make public a new scientific paradigm is an indispensable resource for understanding the links between the internal critiques of pre-existing theories and the intellectual practices that allow us to go beyond already established limits (Heilbron 2006). The study of the social and intellectual characteristics of those who participate in scientific controversies, their alliances, cooperation and splits is without a doubt an excellent means of revealing how transnational power relationships become inscribed in the evolution of modes of thought and cognitive systems (Love 1996; Karady 2008). If all scientific research seeks to establish hypotheses which have universal validity, it seems ridiculous to circumscribe the analytical eye when looking at the bi-national circulation of ideas and relationships, no matter how intense these may have been in the past.

In this respect, we may ask ourselves if the "French Mission" of the 1930s was simply a result of scientific universalism or if, to the contrary, it wasn't also the result of a series of hegemonic pretensions such as those later promoted by the Ford Foundation. Is it not more likely that this mission was inscribed in a set of international competitions over scientific dominance, as is any civilizing mission? It seems prudent to follow the advice formulated by Lévi-Strauss over a half century ago (1958) regarding the deciphering of the deep structure of origin myths: one must examine the whole set of versions which one finds, not excluding even the most contradictory. Distanced from the impartial observer's poetic observation and interpretation of states of spirit, Cartesian doubt inevitably raises its head:  at what exact latitude do the "tropics" inevitably become "tristes"?



1 This was the structure of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, the Goeldi Museum in Belém and the Paulista Museum in São Paulo, all following an evolutionary scheme similar to museums in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.
2 For a social and intellectual itinerary of F. H. Cardoso, see Garcia Jr. (2004).
3 Regarding political science, cf. L. Canêdo (2009).
4 In her enlightening biography of R. Cardoso, M. S. Amorim produces the image of a "lady educated according to Imperial customs, marked by religious ascethicism and displaying great moral rigidity up to the day of her death, in 1997, at 99 years of age" (Amorim 2001:16). She was determined to see her son pass a public exam for a position in a state-run company, such as the Bank of Brazil, in order to guarantee the family's future. Since the 1930, the expansion of public service positions such as these favored the reintegration of agrarian elites threatened by economic decline (Miceli 1981; Garcia Jr. 1993).
5 For more details regarding General Leônidas Cardoso's political career, his lineage and the political engagements of the young Fernando Henrique Cardoso, see the bibliography analyzed in Garcia Jr. (2004).
6 A year after hiring by the Museum, R. Cardoso de Oliveira began to publish articles on the Terena, condensing these in a book (1960) dealing with their "assimilation". During the following year, he began publishing material about the Tikuna, based on his 1964 book, O índio no mundo dos brancos. A more complete bibliography can be found in Amorim (2001) and Correa & Laraia (1992).
7 See the texts of A M. Almeida and A. Bittencourt (2009) regarding the central role of these organisms in the construction of the Brazilian education system in the 1950s and '60s. These courses were already called "specialization courses in social anthropology" when they were under the patronage of the  Instituto de Ciências Sociais of the Universidade do Brasil (today UFRJ). According to Laraia (1992:19), on this occasion, the substitution of the expression "cultural anthropology" had already resulted in some resistance and even accusations that the change benefitted sociology. The importance of these courses for the relationship between "indigenismo" and anthropology is studied by Lima (2002).
8 With one exception, Alcida Ramos, today known as an ethnologist specializing in Native American groups, but who at the time undertook her fieldwork in a Portuguese immigrant community under the orientation of Luiz de Castro Faria.
9 This went against the grain of previously established Brazilian tradition, given that Gilberto Freyre's works about race relations in the 1930s were considered to be anthropological in nature, as were the works of Arthur Ramos, the tenured chair holder of the Faculdade Nacional de Filosofia of the Universidade do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro, since the end of the 1930s.
10 Consult the PPGAS/MN archives — professors dossiers. This is the common source of all the C.V. material used here. This only deals with the objective challenges faced by Roberto Cardoso; his personal convictions and attitudes do not seem to have changed during this period – to the contrary. As we shall see below — following the material in the archives — R. Cardoso and D. Maybury-Lewis approached the Ford Foundation with extreme mistrust regarding its objectives.
11 Roberto da Matta was hired by the PPGAS/MN and succeeded Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira as its director. Roque Laraia and Júlio César Melatti both carried out their careers at the Universidade de Brasília's graduate schools. The masters in social anthropology was created at that university in 1972, with Roberto Cardoso's transfer from Rio to the new capital. Laraia and Melatti attended several seminars at Harvard, but their doctoral dissertations were defended at USP. Roberto da Matta was the only scholar of his generation to obtain a PhD at Harvard.
12 In her history of anthropology in Brazil (1960-1980), Mariza Correa emphasized the special place occupied by Roberto da Matta in Harvard's Central Brazil Project, given that he was chosen to study the  "Apinayé anamoly" (Correa 1995:85-89). The theoretical aim of this research object is examined in detail in the first chapter of his monograph (da Matta 1976).
13 This data comes from the CV furnished by the PPGAS and in his public testimony published in book form (Faria 1993:2).
14 As was the case with the later relationship between Cardoso and Maybury-Lewis, this may also have been caused by the Second World War and Lévi-Strauss' move to the United States, which kept him from returning to Brazil.  In Tristes Tropiques, Lévi-Strauss narrates that, upon demobilization, he realized that, as a Jew, he was threatened.  He tried to immigrate to Brazil, but Ambassador Souza Dantas, obliged to follow the  most recent Brazilian instructions against Jewish immigration, could not give him a visa (Lévi-Strauss 1955/1984:17-18).
15 For more details and reproductions of documents of the period, see Faria (2001).
16 For photographic documentation of the Brazilian anthropology meetings, see Correa (2003).
17 I have explored this interpretative track elsewhere (Garcia Jr. 2006). Faria's break with his past formation and intellectual values became manifest in his book on Oliveira Vianna (Faria 2002).
18 Sergio Miceli (1993, 1995) studied the activities of the Ford Foundation in Brazil in the 1960s and its contribution to the diversification and professionalization of the social sciences field in that country.
19 Of the two works referenced (Chayanov 1925 and Wolf 1966), the first was translated by EPHE in 1966 and the second was published in the same year in the U.S., being quickly translated by Zahar.
20 For the main arguments, cf. Leite Lopes 1992. Mariza Correa (1995:44-45) emphasizes the importance of the research project entitled "Emprego e mudanças socio-econômicas no Nordeste" ("Employment and Socioeconomic Change in the Northeast"), coordinated by Moacir Palmeira, in securing the continuity of the graduate program via financing by wide ranging research programs. At this time, José Sergio Leite Lopes and I were FINEP economists and I hope to take up this topic again in future text, combining personal recollections with archival research.
21 His doctorate at USP, which included extended work at a U.S. university, dealt with the consumers of light recreational drugs. From that point on, he based his studies on the work of  Erving Goffman and Howard Becker, which were edited in Brazil under his care following his return from the United States.
22 Post doctoral fellowship, from January 1971 to February 1972 (Cardoso de Oliveira R. 1999:51-58).
23 We should remember here that Maria Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, the only Brazilian doctoral student to have studied under Lévi-Strauss' orientation, also played a fundamental role in the renovation of Brazilian ethnology. However, her trajectory, along with that of the other defenders of structuralism, cannot be simply understood as a prolongation of the ties established between Brazil and France in the 1930s and '40s.  The history of anthropology at USP is examined by Mariza Correa (1995:53-65). Her recapitulation of the professors of that university (idem:64) shows that, with the exception of Emilio Willems, whose doctorate came from the University of Berlin, and  M. M. Carneiro da Cunha, the other 24 researcher-professors at the school defended their dissertations at USP. This degree of self-reproduction was not reached in any other graduate program in Brazil.
24 The graduate program at the Universidade de Brasília contains the largest number of Harvard PhDs – or even U.S. PhDs – in Brazil.
25 The long cycle of generous reciprocity, studied by Marcel Mauss, well describes Biorn Maybury-Lewis' integration in the research conducted by Moacir Palmeira regarding rural labor syndicalism in Brazil. In this way, David's eldest son was able to construct a database regarding Brazilian peasant syndicalism and defend his PhD dissertation in an American political sciences department (Maybury-Lewis 1994).
26 For a version quite pertinent to India, cf. Béteille (2007).



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Received on 9.15.2009
Approved on 9.22.2009