The University of Illinois

The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Welcome / Bem-vindo

The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies

Established in 2009, the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies promotes teaching and research about Brazil by faculty and students at Illinois and their Brazilian counterparts, who take advantage of the extensive resources available at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Building on long-standing collaboration with Brazilian scholars in economics and agriculture, as well as nearly a half-century of teaching and research in Brazilian literature and history, the Institute fosters knowledge and understanding of Brazil across disciplines and colleges. It does this by offering fellowships to UIUC and Brazilian students at graduate and undergraduate levels; funding faculty research; organizing international conferences on Brazilian topics; and supporting cultural activities of all sorts.

O Instituto Lemann de Estudos Brasileiros

Estabelecido em 2009, o Lemann Institute promove o ensino e pesquisa sobre o Brasil por docentes e discentes de Illinois e seus colegas brasileiros, aproveitando os extensos recursos existentes na UIUC sobre o Brasil.

Illinois and Brazil

The University of Illinois has over a century of engagement in Brazil. Eugene Davenport, for whom Davenport Hall is named, was the first dean of the College of Agriculture at Illinois. As a young man he spent 1890-91 in São Paulo, Brazil, where he advised the coffee planter Luiz de Queiroz on establishing Brazil's first school of agriculture, currently known as ESALQ (Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz), part of the University of São Paulo. In a memoir found in the UIUC archives, Davenport comments on the social conditions in Brazil in the years immediately following the abolition of slavery.
-Joseph Love, Emeritus Professor of History

Library Resources
The Brazilian Collection at the University Library is among the finest in the nation, with holdings that surpass 103,000 volumes in Portuguese. The Library has had a strong focus on Brazil for more than a century and was responsible for collecting materials for Brazil under the Farmington Plan in the 1940s and 1950s, an emphasis we continue today.

May 1st, 2018 - 2:00 PM - Room 101 ISB

Dain Borges, History, University of Chicago

Psychical Science in Republican Brazil: Telepathy, Spiritism, and Candomblé
Between 1880 and 1910, a handful of prominent Brazilian intellectuals attempted scientific study of extraordinary phenomena such as telepathy, premonitions, and communication with invisible spirits. They conducted opinion surveys, collected signed affidavits of extraordinary experiences, used medical hypnotism to evoke hidden powers, and held séances with celebrity mediums. Most followed the new French depth psychology of abnormal mental states. Raimundo Nina Rodrigues, seeking to explain away the spirit possession of Bahian candomblé, founded the field of Afro-Brazilian anthropology. The other psychical researchers are forgotten today. The most persistent of them, professor Alfred Alexander, followed the British Society for Psychical Research, looking for subliminal powers of the mind. He conducted polls and case studies that broke new ground in Brazilian social science. The research and these researchers became entangled with the legitimacy crisis of transition from Empire to Republic, 1880-1898, and with the growth of new-age religions based in Kardecist Spiritism.