The Brazil Initiative is delighted to host Dr. Gilberto Hochman as a Brazil Initiative visiting scholar for 2017-2018. Dr. Hochman is Senior Researcher at Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, the History of Sciences and Health Unit of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The main objective of his stay as a visiting scholar is to develop a section of a broader research project titled “Health, Development and Democracy in Brazil (1945-1964” that he will transform into a book.

The objective of the study he is developing is to understand the intersection of medicine, rural health, agrarian reform, ideology, and politics in Brazil during the twentieth century, in particular during the Brazilian democratic and developmentalist experience (1945- 64) and the Cold War. The strong relations between medical parasitologists working in Brazilian Public Universities and Rural Health Services, and the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) promoted a very politicized agenda of research and teaching that clashed with Brazilian government agencies and with international funding agencies as Rockefeller Foundation or International organizations as PAHO-WHO. This a chapter of the history of Cold War science and medicine “in the field” little explored by historians and social scientists. Another aspect to be developed is the control and eradication of endemic diseases, such as malaria, associated with development projects in the Brazilian Northeast and the policies of international health and tensions with the growing claims of rural workers and growing demands for agrarian reform.

During the winter 2018 term, Dr. Hochman is teaching a mini-course in the History Department on the history of health and disease in Brazil. He will also give a public lecture on his research on February 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm in the International Institute.

WINTER 2018 Mini-Course (1 CREDIT)
History 390: Nature, Race and Space in History of Health and Disease in Brazil
Wednesdays 10:00 AM—12:30 PM January 10—February 14, 2018

The aim of this mini-course is to present and debate why and how health and disease are important keys to understand the history of Brazil. The individual and collective experiences of living, of illness, of caring and of dying mobilize structural dimensions of Brazilian society and culture – and the national identity, such as nature, race and space. The course will discuss these dimensions that marked social, scientific and governmental responses to health and disease problems and challenges in modern and contemporary Brazil. From the methodological point of view, the objective is to provide instruments for a more general reflection on health and disease issues in a historical perspective and in different national contexts.