A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro
Bruno Carvalho is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and George H. and Mildred F. Whitfield University Preceptor in the Humanities at Princeton University.
List of Maps List of Figures A Note on Translation Preface Introduction: In Search of Things Past: Mapping Rio 1 At the Centre of an Imperial Capital: Swamps, Yellow Fever, and Gypsy Parties 2 A Master on the Periphery of a Periphery: Popular Music, Streetcars, and the Republic 3 Beyond the Belle Époque: On the Border of a ‘Divided City’ 4 Afro-Jewish Quarter and Modernist Landmark 5 Writing the ‘Cradle of Samba’: Race, Radio, and the Price of Progress 6 ‘It’s (Mostly) All True’: The Death of a Neighbourhood and the Life of Myths Conclusion: The Future Revisited: Where Has the Past Gone and Where Will it Go? Acknowledgements Works Cited Index
Bruno Carvalho’s Porous City helps readers see Rio anew through his meticulously researched microhistory of Cidade Nova, the once culturally vibrant carioca neighbourhood where samba was born. As this masterful study bears out, Cidade Nova is a fascinating microcosm for examining certain paradoxes that have come to define Rio, and Brazil more generally, particularly the co-existence of the celebration of racial mixture and the persistence of dramatic racial inequality.
Bruno Carvalho’s Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro makes a significant contribution to the understanding of Rio’s ‘‘multi-ethnic, multiracial, and multilayered’’.
Rosana Barbosa Canadian Journal of History
[This] groundbreaking new book defies specialization and will no doubt become a model for scholars engaged in interdisciplinary research. Porous City explores the history and culture of Rio since the 1800s and the processes through which marginalized cultural practices became mainstream. In so doing, Carvalho develops a rich analytical concept which, incidentally, he also calls porosity. Through porosity, Carvalho sheds light on a paradox that is central to Rio and perhaps to all of Brazil: that is, the coexistence of mobility and segregation.
Through what he genially calls spatial porosity Carvalho engages a highly informed and inspiring treatment of a great city’s throbbing geology. Readers will learn much about Rio in its development and what a gamut of inhabitants have made of it. Porous City is a vital and lasting contribution to urban and cultural studies.
Abbott Lawrence Lowell
This brilliant cultural history of Rio de Janeiro, while focusing on the specific neighborhood of Cidade Nova, is anything but insular in its methodology and scope. Drawing on a dazzling array of sources-- urban theories, literature, painting, popular music and film, but also city plans, censuses, oral testimonies, memoirs, letters and travel accounts--Bruno Carvalho offers incisive readings of texts, including canonical ones. His argument for Rio de Janeiro as a porous city, defined by social and racial mixtures and cultural inclusions, proposes the concept of porosity over others, such as syncretism or miscegenation, the better to keep in sight ways in which those mixtures can coexist and even abet other forms of discrimination and exclusion. Lively, judicious, and erudite, Porous City makes a fundamental contribution to debates about urban modernism and cultural formations, of interest to both beginning and seasoned scholars of Brazil and Latin America. It asks a still open question, pertinent since the nineteenth century: "How does a culture and self-image defined by mixture coexist with stark socio-economic disparity?
New York University
Every page bursts with insights... This is a wonderfully erudite but also congenial work, inviting the reader to a deeper understanding of Rio de Janeiro’s history over the past centuries through close investigation of the neighborhood of Cidade Nova, its changing population and architecture, and the many works of literature, visual arts, and popular song connected to those histories. A groundbreaking perspective on Rio's history.
Size: 239 x 163 mm
Publication: October 22, 2013
Series: Contemporary Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures 9