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UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE LONDRINA
POSTGRADUATE PROGRAM IN SOCIAL HISTORY
The Postgraduate Program in Social History, Master´s Level, at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina (PPGHS), was authorized by CAPES in July 2006 and started its activities in early 2007. It aims at the formation of professors and researchers who work in teaching, research, construction and dissemination of information in History, preparing them for work in Institutions of Higher Education and in Research Institutions. Its core is Social History, whilst the main topics of research involve Political Territories, History and Language, Cultural Practices, Memory and Image, History and Teaching. The core of Social History may be defined not merely by the variety of objects to be investigated but particularly by the concept of cognoscibility of the historical phenomenon itself, by interdisciplinary incorporation and by the articulation of parts within the whole. Theoretical bases of Social History are directly related to the history of the rise and consolidation of the thematic field.
Initially, the term ‘Social History’ was employed to translate a theme opposed to a history based on political and military events and on a narrative on the saga of nations. On the other hand, it underscored the practical needs for articulation at all levels. In other words, society´s understanding of social economic and cultural stances; the contribution between several human sciences; the valorization of history of other social groups beyond the dominating elites; the establishment and resolution of issues instead of narratives (CASTRO, 1997; HOBSBAWM, 1998; BURKE, 1991; DOSSE, 1992).
Social History gradually became a field of knowledge, with its own methods and issues, similar to what was occurring with Economic History and Demographic History. Such development provided the upgrading of methods for the analysis of historical sources, an emphasis on the role of human activities in History and an opening for different periods – relationships between short and long terms (CASTRO, 1997). Other contributions, especially those from British Marxist historians, triggered approaches centered on the history of social movements within the history seen from below and even in the culture of popular classes.
Discussion on such concepts as ‘social class’ and ‘culture’ has been a great contribution for historical studies, even to non-tributaries of Historical Materialism. Methodological contributions have also been remarkable, such as the use of oral statements, popular literature and new problematization for judicial sources. Political dimensions have not been disregarded and have been elaborated for a holistic view of society (HOBSBAWM, 1998; CASTRO, 1997).
Consequently, Social History may conceive historical knowledge as “the analysis of social relations among people and the modalities of its changes”, articulated and full of total (every social dimension may undergo historical investigation) and dynamic (capable of integrating changes) internal coherence (SILVA, 2001).
The making of Social History started in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of post-structural and anti-realist paradigms in human sciences in general (CARDOSO, 1997; CARDOSO, 1998; SILVA, 2001). Historical reality, transformed into texts and representation effects, may undergo ‘hermeneutic analyses’ and ‘deconstruction’. Knowledge of the past would be relativized (ALBERTI, 1996; FALCON, 2000; CARDOSO, 1998). The latter concept, led to paroxysm and amplified by attacks on rationalism and on systems of a holistic explanation of societies, would end up separated from the original paradigm constituent of Social History, or rather, the cognoscibility of the historical phenomenon.
Although Social History may share the methods of document analysis and underscore that knowledge may be a representation and not a mirror of the past, it radically divorces itself from the above-mentioned structures. Theoretically, it distances itself when it acknowledges the past as a cognitive reality and, methodologically, when it defends the possibility of analyzing the relationships between traces of the past (its ‘social representations’) and the reality represented or determined by them (GINZBURG, 1993; CARDOSO, 1997).
Underscoring the perception of historical phenomena as a whole composed of social, political, economic and cultural relationships, the thematic field of Social History is characterized more for its stance on relationships to objects than to the objects themselves. It gives great importance to multi-thematic and interdisciplinary dialogue. In other words, it is distinguished by its contributions to other areas of historical knowledge.
Although research problematization demonstrates the predominance towards a determined field of historical knowledge, an opening for discussing other areas is totally enhanced. For example, when a political phenomenon is investigated, it is achieved by the foregrounding of concepts and methods of political history, albeit opened to other dimensions of social life, such as cultural, environmental, economic and other factors. Through methodologies and problem-raising, one may, for example, construct a ‘social history’ of a cultural or religious phenomenon, without reducing investigation to specific studies on cultural, religious or educational history.
Consequently, the core of the subject matter Social History has been specifically chosen due to its enhancement of an integrated study of these factors within the historical phenomena. Political Territories; History and Language; Cultural Practices, Memory and Image; and History Teaching are fields which have been selected to investigate and promote research within the proposed core area. The four fields concentrate and agglutinate research works developed by professors of the Social History Program, based on Social History as the privileged locus of theoretical analysis.
ALBERTI, Verena. A existência na história: revelações e riscos da hermenêutica. Estudos Históricos. Rio de Janeiro, FGV, Vol. 9, Nº 17, 1996.
BARCA, Isabel. O pensamento histórico dos jovens. Idéias dos adolescentes acerca da provisoriedade da explicação histórica. Braga: Universidade do Minho, 2000.
BURKE, Peter. A Escola dos Annales, 1929-1989: a revolução francesa na historiografia. São Paulo: EDUSP, 1991.
________. Variedades de História Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 2000.
CAILLOIS, Roger. O homem e o sagrado, Lisboa: Edições 70, 1988.
CARDOSO, Ciro Flamarion. Crítica de duas questões relativas ao anti-realismo epistemológico contemporâneo. Diálogos. Revista do Departamento de História da Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Vol. 2, Nº 2, 1998.
________. História e paradigmas rivais. In: CARDOSO, Ciro Flamarion; VAINFAS, Ronaldo (orgs.). Domínios da História: ensaios de teoria e metodologia. Rio de Janeiro: Campus, 1997.
CASTRO, Celso, et alii (orgs.). Nova História Militar Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. da FGV; Bom Texto, 2004.
CASTRO, Hebe. História Social. In: CARDOSO, Ciro Flamarion; VAINFAS, Ronaldo (orgs.). Domínios da História: ensaios de teoria e metodologia. Rio de Janeiro: Campus, 1997.
CHARTIER, Roger, A história cultural: entre práticas e representações. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil/ Lisboa, Difel, 1990.
DOSSE, François. A História em migalhas. Campinas: Ed. Da UNICAMP; São Paulo: Ed. Ensaio, 1992.
ELIADE, Mircea. O sagrado e o profano. A essência das religiões, Lisboa, Edições Livros do Brasil, s/d.
FALCON, Francisco. História e representação. In: CARDOSO, Ciro Flamarion; MALERBA, Jurandir (orgs.). Representações: contribuição a um debate interdisciplinar. Campinas: Papirus, 2000.
FERREIRA, Marieta, “A nova ‘velha história’”, Estudos Históricos, n.10. Rio de Janeiro, 1992.
FRANCO Jr. A Eva barbada: ensaios de mitologia medieval, São Paulo, Edusc, 1996.
GEERTZ, Clifford, A interpretação das culturas, Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 1978
GILLIS, John R. (ed.). Commemorations: the politics of national identity. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
GINZBURG, Carlo. El juez y el historiador. Acotaciones al margen del caso Sofri. Madrid: Anaya & Mario Mochnik, 1993.
GLASSBERG, David. Pubic History and the study of memory. The Public Historian. Vol. Vol. 18, Nº 2, Spring, 1996.
GOMES, Ângela de Castro. História, historiografia e cultura política no Brasil: algumas reflexões. In: SOIHET, Rachel, et alii (orgs.). Culturas políticas: ensaios de história cultural, história política e ensino de história. Rio de Janeiro: FAPERJ/ Mauad, 2005.
GUREVICH, A.. As categorias da cultura medieval, Lisboa, Caminho, 1990.
HOBSBAWM, Eric. Sobre a História. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1998.
JULIARD, Jacques. A política. In: LE GOFF, Jacques; NORA, Pierre (org.). História: novas abordagens. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1976.
KEEGAN, John. Uma história da guerra. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1995.
LEE, Peter; DICKINSON, Alaric; ASHBY, Rosalyn. Las ideas de los niños sobre la historia. In: CARRETERO, Mario; VOSS, James (orgs.). Aprender y pensar la historia. Buenos Aires: Amorrotu Editores, 2004.
LE GOFF, Jacques. História e memória. Campinas: Ed. da Unicamp, 1989.
MANSELLI, R., La religion popolaire au Moyen Age, Paris, Vrin, 1975.
RÉMOND, René (org.). Por uma história política. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Da UFRJ/Editora FGV, 1996.
RESEARCH LINE: CULTURAL PRACTICE, MEMORY AND IMAGE
The concept of culture is a complex factor within the different areas of human sciences, such as Anthropology, Sociology and even History, and varies according to the authors that define it. The aim of the research theme constitutes an investigation on issues related to cultural practices within the historical field as from multiple theories based on interdisciplinarity in other areas of knowledge. In a wide sense, cultural practices may manifest themselves diversely, such as heritage, religion and religiosity. Three issues seem to constitute the discussion: one may be identified as a historical construction that make groups perceive a common social space, based on the representation of the other. As a corollary, one may underscore collective memories which, circumscribed and constructed by determined groups within the social stance (including, through the fabrication of apparently ancient and immutable traditions, but, generally, loaded with historicity), are monumentalized by several memory sites. Another focus on the research line deals with images of different types which may have the role of investigation objects and/or primary sources. They may also become monuments and constitute narratives that interweave memories or remain silent waiting for the strategic instance for their emergence.
RESEARCH LINE: POLITICAL TERRITORIES
Although throughout the 20th century, progress in historical research has stigmatized political history and power relations, the theme is still the object of historical research and historiographical debates. The broadening of perceptions of power relationships multiplies the possibilities of research in the area. Besides the investigation of state and non-state institutions, relationships of people with the environment, social movements, collective memories, transformations and permanence of power structures and their interfaces with other dimensions of social life, such as religion, gender, cultural and space identities and others may be added. In the late 20th century and in the beginning of the 21st century, demands and vindication forms that social groups forward to civil society and to the State have broadened, varying between the preservation of nature and minority rights. These transformations imply the rethinking of several concepts and ideas in political history, such as the notion of identity, representation, people´s participation, political parties, public-private relations and others. Consequently, research line Political Territories comprehends the study of institutional and non-institutional forms and spaces currently known as political history field which comprise informal urban and rural social movements and the constitution of regional, national and civilizational identities and spaces of specific historical exteriorizations, such as policy projects and institutions as tension and conflict space. For this research approach, the notion of history of the present, studies and discussions on collective memory, political culture and political imaginary are basic.
RESEARCH LINE: HISTORY AND LANGUAGE
This research line aims at studying language as an issue for research by the social and cultural historian. Relationships between History and Language are not new; neither are issues which historians have to face when they employ image, sound and written sources. They try to understand the agents, their ideas and worldviews, gestures that link ideas to sites as man-made forms and circumstances. The above place the historian within the context of a wide range of issues such as the relationships between the narrated and the experienced, between history and fiction, the manner we perceive and construct and reconstruct realities, the manner language represents our experiences, manufacture our points of view and our worldview, and how we represent what we know about the past and the limits of knowledge that historians try to build. From such a departure, projects are aggregated that pinpoint imagetic, written and sound language as privileged sites to understand social and cultural dynamics and to investigate broader issues, such as the relationships between language produced by historians and the socio-cultural world, written language and orality or performance, cultural production and receiving communities, the history of writing and reading practices, language and rites.
RESEARCH LINE: HISTORY AND TEACHING
The Teaching of History research line involves meanings and the significance that currently History has for its agents. The writing of History and its teaching and issues related to the subject, narrative, documents and multi-perspectivity of epistemological and methodological dialogues. The above aims at developing research from different theoretical references and within different methodological perspectives, with different constitution forms of History teaching in institutional or day-to-day spaces. Research themes may comprise historical knowledge in different memory spaces, teachers’ formation, relationship between specific and pedagogical knowledge, teachers’ ideas and execution, the student as a social construction, historical knowledge and the formation of historical awareness, handbooks, curricula and their use, language and historical narratives and historical education.