National Academies Press: OpenBook

Field Guide to Brazil (1960)

Chapter: U.S. and European Interests in Brazil

« Previous: Scientific Institutions in Brazil
Suggested Citation:"U.S. and European Interests in Brazil." National Research Council. 1960. Field Guide to Brazil. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18401.
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Suggested Citation:"U.S. and European Interests in Brazil." National Research Council. 1960. Field Guide to Brazil. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18401.
Page 27
Suggested Citation:"U.S. and European Interests in Brazil." National Research Council. 1960. Field Guide to Brazil. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18401.
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"U.S. and European Interests in Brazil." National Research Council. 1960. Field Guide to Brazil. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18401.
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"U.S. and European Interests in Brazil." National Research Council. 1960. Field Guide to Brazil. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18401.
Page 30

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V. U.S. AND EUROPEAN INTERESTS IN BRAZIL A number of the U.S. Foundations and U.S. business corporations have interests in Brazil. The U.S. government also has several active agencies in Brazil. The Rockefeller Foundation maintains a permanent office in Rio de Janeiro. Its principal interests in Brazil are in medicine, agri- culture, and human genetics. The Ford Foundation is developing an interest in Latin America. For the time being it may restrict its activities to economics and edu- cation. The Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation offers aid for research in South America, particularly Chile. It has also contributed towards Brazilian studies. The Guggenheim Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Mental Health have all supported studies in Brazil. The U.S. Educational Defense Act, Title IV, makes available fellowships for the study of Portuguese language and culture. The Social Science Research Council has a new program of grants in support of research on Latin American countries for social scientists and humanistic scholars. Three American Universities have special Brazilian programs — New York University, the University of Wisconsin, and Stanford Uni- versity. The New York University program has been in effect for two years, the Wisconsin program is just finishing its second year, while Stanford will start its program this year. New York University has instituted a "junior year in Bahia," and the Wisconsin program is con- sidering doing the same, perhaps in Porto Alegre. Vanderbilt Uni- versity at one time had a Brazilian Institute and may reactivate its pro- gram in the near future. Among government agencies, the Fulbright Commission (United States Educational Commission) has an office in Rio de Janeiro. Ful- bright grants in the U.S. are administered by the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils, Committee on International Exchange of Persons, 2101 Constitution Ave. , Washington 25, D.C. This agency is 26

becoming an important contact point between American and Brazilian scholarly institutions. It administers exchanges of students and of pro- fessors. One difficulty with the Fulbright program is that it does not pay sufficiently. Payment is made in cruzeiros (the Brazilian unit of currency) at a rate which was calculated some years ago before in- flation had gone as far as it has. The result is that the Fulbright salary is not enough to support a man and his family. At times the Fulbright grantee may receive a modest supplemental amount from the host in- stitution, but this cannot be depended upon. The Fulbright program does provide unique opportunities for experience within the Brazilian uni- versity system, either in teaching or research. This is most satis- factory when the grantee has already been in contact with Brazilian colleagues and has been requested by the colleagues' university. A little-used research or study opportunity is that provided by the Buenos Aires Convention Fellowship, handled in the U.S. by the Depart- ment of State and in Brazil by CAPES. Here again, payment is in the currency of Brazil, and some supplemental source is necessary. The Organization of the American States also is a source of support for those wishing to study in Brazil. United States governmental interests in Brazil center in Rio de Janeiro, where the Embassy is located. There are U.S. Consulates in most of the state capitals, particularly those which are port cities. Inquiries can be directed to the Cultural Attache in the Embassy or to the USIS representatives in the consulates. General assistance can be given to American citizens at any of these consulates. The U.S. State Department in cooperation with the Brazilian Government maintains binational centers in most of the large cities. These centers, usually called the Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos , provide information about the U.S. and conduct English courses for the local Brazilian population. They usually have libraries which are non- technical for the most part. A visiting anthropologist is frequently asked to give talks at these centers, and they are often good places to make contacts which will be useful in field work, and even to look for as- sistants—for translating, for interpreting, or for general field work. The U.S. Government Point Four Program in Brazil is fairly extensive. It covers business and public administration, geology, engi- neering, education, agriculture, and public health. Participants in the Point Four Program have a wealth of knowledge and experience in Brazil which could be of value to the social scientist going to Brazil for the first time. Point Four personnel have had experience in many of the regions of Brazil and with many different Brazilian sub-cultures. 27

Michigan State University, Purdue University, and the University of Southern California have contracts with the International Cooperation Administration for work in Brazil. In addition to government agencies active in Brazil, there are many North American business firms whose offices are most often lo- cated in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and in some of the other state capi- tals. Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have U.S. Chambers of Commerce which work very much in the same way as the Chambers of Commerce in any U.S. city. They hold luncheons, have guest speakers, and, most importantly, provide news in English of developments on the in- dustrial, commercial, and social fronts. The question arises as to how much the social scientist going to Brazil wishes to identify himself with North Americans and the U.S. Colony. It is difficult to answer this, for whether the scientist will un- duly prejudice his relations with the Brazilian community by too close relations with the U.S. Colony depends upon the character of particular research projects. Some individuals, especially those who have gone to Brazil in a teaching capacity, seem to feel that no harm comes to them from consorting almost exclusively with North Americans after class hours. Others who have gone for research primarily have attempted to divorce themselves from much connection with their compatriots. Most of the large cities have colonies — U.S., British, and others. Many of these people have been in Brazil for years and know their way about very well. Because of this they can often give helpful instruc- tions about many of the everyday problems which crop up when living in another culture. This is particularly true for wives who, in most cases, need some guidance as to food, measures, prices, and so on. Many of the individuals in these colonies have formed prejudices and misinterpretations of many aspects of Brazilian life which it would be better for the social scientist to avoid, particularly at the beginning of his residence in Brazil when he is apt to be highly impressionable. Constant company with these colonies prolongs the language-learning period and makes mastery of the language difficult. Increasing nationalism makes it easier to offend one's colleagues whether in the teaching field or in research by too close association with North Americans and too little with Brazilians. It is not easy to combine the two associations, for this usually leads to considerable constraint on the part of the Brazilians. The best course must be deter- mined at the time. European scientific interests in Brazil have been greater in the past than they are now. Brazil's earliest intellectual ties were with 28

France. With the creation of the university system, many French pro- fessors were imported. French influence since World War II has de- creased to a great extent. However, French ethnographers continue to be interested in Brazilian Indians, and a few individuals maintain their contacts with modern sociology and anthropology. The Museu de 1'Homme in Paris is famous for its ethnographic collections. The universities of the Sorbonne, Lyons, and Toulouse have trained Brazilian students, especially in geography, and their personnel have gone to Brazil to do field work and to teach in Brazilian universities. The Faculty of Letters at Toulouse, however, has the only specialized program — Estudos Luso- Brasileiros—in which both Portugal and Brazil are treated. Courses about Portuguese culture and Brazilian culture are offered in Portuguese at this institution. For the historical antecedents of Brazilian culture the Iberian Peninsula is obviously important. The University of Coimbra and various governmental agencies having to do with overseas affairs are primary contact points. The Portuguese government maintains the Gabinete Portugues in most of the large Brazilian cities. This is an institution somewhat of the same nature as the Uniao Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos, except that it does not do any teaching. However, the gabinetes fre- quently have historical material available. The Funda9ao Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon has announced that it is undertaking to publish a bibliographic bulletin which will include ma- terials relating to Luso-Brazilian studies. The Dutch are also becoming interested in Brazil—particularly from the point of view of tropical agriculture and cattle raising. The Netherlands School of Economics at Rotterdam and various governmental agencies are stimulating research in Brazil in relation to the period of Dutch occupation of northern Brazil and the more recent colonization activities of Dutch settlers in southern Brazil. Japan is also undertaking study of the movement of Japanese na- tionals to Brazil and their adaptation to the Brazilian environment and culture. The Universities of Tokyo and Kobe are the principal centers of this movement. Two international congresses are also important. These are the Congress of Americanists, whose publication carries much material on both Brazilian Indians and on contemporary Brazilian culture. The other is the International Colloquium on Luso-Brazilian Studies, whose pro- ceedings also bring together international scholars interested in Portu- guese and Brazilian culture in almost all aspects. This Colloquium, which has been held four times, was started by the Library of Congress. 29

The first meeting was held in Washington in 1950, and the most recent, the fourth, was held in Bahia, Brazil, in 1959. The proceedings of the first three are already published, and those of the fourth should be ready shortly. The fifth meeting has been tentatively scheduled to be held in Angola in 1961 or 1962. 30

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This guide to field research in Brazil is one of a series being issued under the auspices of the Committee on International Anthropology, which was established in 1957 by the Division of Anthropology and Psychology of the National Academy of Sciences — National Research Council. The proposal that such field guides be prepared came from a conference of anthropologists held at Columbia University in December, 1956. The Committee has treated the project as an experimental one, recognizing that the audiences to be addressed are rather diverse, e.g., the research worker with a project and area in hand, graduate training seminars, the social scientist wanting to make professional contacts, and that the materials would have to be stated mostly in general terms.

The purpose of Field Guide to Brazil is to provide information which the research worker, entering an area for the first time, should have in order to plan his trip get clearances from governments, deal with interested scientific institutions and scholars, comport himself properly in relations with local leaders, and establish generally a favorable working status for himself prior to the point where he applies his professional techniques to the problem in hand.

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