Discussion of Ian Merkel's Dissertation prospectus (France, São Paulo, and the Making of an Intellectual Class)
My dissertation is an inquiry into the intellectual exchanges between Brazil and France during the period 1930-1964, particularly in the social sciences. At once a collective treatment of the intellectuals who were part of a "French Mission" to found the University of São Paulo in the 1930s and a more detailed analysis of particular moments in the disciplines of history, sociology, and anthropology, this dissertation explores the particularly fruitful exchanges between French and Brazilian academic during an important moment of institutional, cultural, and social consolidation in Brazil. It also proposes to understand the importance of São Paulo's intellectual life in the French social sciences, particularly through figures such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Fernand Braudel, and Roger Bastide.
Ian Merkel is a doctoral candidate (3rd year) in History and French Studies at NYU.