Northwestern Events Calendar


Lívio Sansone: Lombroso and Latin America (Bahia, Havana and Buenos Aires, 1889-1930)

When: Thursday, March 10, 2016
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CT

Where: University Hall, 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sarah Peters   (847) 491-7980

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Global & Civic Engagement


Lívio Sansone will present at Northwestern University in the coming weeks. He is a professor of Anthropology and Afro-Brazilian Studies at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. He is the author, among other books, of Blackness without Ethnicity: constructing race in Brazil (Palgrave, 2013). He is the head of the Factory of Ideas Program – an advanced international course in ethnic and African studies – and coordinates the Digital Museum of African and Afro-Brazilian Heritage –


The influence of the ideas produced by the cabinet of Cesar Lombroso in Turin on the debate on deviance, crime, degeneration and race on the young social sciences in Latin America is undeniable. It is especially so for the period 1889-1930 that in Brazil anticipates the creation of universities proper. This influence was also important as regards the representation of these subject matters in exhibitions and museums. This research project aims at gauging the gap that exists in the reconstruction of the network spanning between Italy and our subcontinent, through which travelled both ways correspondence, contacts, ideas, texts, images, human remains and a variety of artifacts. First, I analyze the functioning of the network with regard to Bahia, where the main character was Raimundo Nina Rodrigues, followed by Afrânio Peixoto, Juliano Moreira and, in a way, Arthur Ramos and Estacio de Lima. Second, I proce ed trying to demonstrate how the network functioned, in close relationship with our country, also in Argentina, where the main character is the psychiatric-sociologist José Ingenieros, as well as in Cuba, where the most important character is law student-ethnographer Fernando Ortiz. Special attention will be bestowed upon how ideas and representations of race, the negro, African, native American and mestizo circulated. In doing this I will try to shed light on the concrete links that unite the debate on colonization and the African race, which was quite intense in the years that followed the Congress of Berlin (1884-87), and the redefinition of (the ideal) race in Latin America.

Sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.

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