thèse de Larissa Alves de LiraLarissa Alves De Lira, associate member of Géographie-cités, has received an award from LASA- Latin American Studies Association, with honourable mention, in the category of the best book on Brazil in the humanities published in 2021.

Larissa Alves De Lira wrote the thesis: “Pierre Monbeig and the formation of Brazilian geography: a science in the context of late capitalism (1925-1957). Erosion of literary values, temptation of action and systematisation of method” in 2017, under the supervision of Marie-Vic Ozouf-Marignier and Manoel Fernandes de Sousa Neto.

Abstract

This thesis aims to analyse the emergence of a Brazilian school of Geography, whose foundations were laid by the French geographer Pierre Monbeig. His formative years at the Sorbonne, the years he lived in Brazil, up to the years in which he published his main contributions on this country (1925-1957), delimit the period of the formation process of Brazilian geography under his direction, seen as a journey both material and symbolic. A geohistory of knowledge, which takes as axes of analysis the spheres of slowness, circulation and ruptures, is the method that has been used to apprehend a trajectory affected by the profound movements of the constitution of sciences, as well as the conjunctures that overshadow the tendencies of the first half of the XX century. These long-term movements are the erosion of the literary values that dominated the French sciences at the end of the 19th century; the temptation of action and commitment that increasingly mobilise the sciences; and a gradual explicitation of scientific methods. Faced with the specific circumstances and determinisms of Brazil, the formation of the national state, the crisis of the oligarchies and the advance of late capitalism, the responses are singular, and the transformations that Pierre Monbeig’s geography will undergo in this space are at once institutional, theoretical and temporally specific. Thus, Monbeig elaborates reasonings that are influenced by the understanding of the geographical processes of modernization, by the spatial logic of underdevelopment of territories, and indirectly by a geographical theory adapted to the conditions of Brazilian capitalism that we call geohistory of peripheral capitalism. Finally, it should be emphasized that such epistemological contributions, if not announced as a break with the heritages of French geography, constitute a contribution for the human sciences based on the geography developed in Brazil, a contribution little recognized in historiographical debates.

Download Pierre Monbeig and the Formation of Brazilian Geography A Science in the Context of Late Capitalism (1925-1957): Erosion of Literary Values, Temptation to Action and Systematization of Method (article)

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the world’s largest professional association of individuals and institutions engaged in Latin American studies. With over 13,000 members, more than 60% from outside the United States, LASA is the largest professional association of Latin American scholars from around the world and from all disciplines and professions.