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Hendrik Kraay

Position: 

Annual Fellow 2018-19

Biography: 

Hendrik Kraay studies the social, political, and cultural history of Brazil. His major publications include Days of National Festivity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1823-1889 (Stanford University Press, 2013) and Race, State, and Armed Forces in Independence-Era Brazil, 1790s-1840s (Stanford University Press, 2001). His Bahia's Independence: Celebrating Dois de Julho in Salvador, Brazil, 1824-1900 is forthcoming from McGill-Queen's University Press. He has also written about Brazilian independence, slavery, Afro-Brazilian culture and politics, identity, military institutions, and the Paraguayan War. His current research focuses entrudo celebrations in nineteenth-century Brazil and he is co-editing a book on nineteenth-century Brazilian newspapers. His research is currently funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant.

Research Activities: 

From Entrudo to Carnaval in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
This project examines pre-Lenten celebra-tions and the origins of the quintessentially Brazilian carnaval (carnival) through the repression of entrudo, a celebratory form involving banquets, practical jokes, and water fights with syringes and waxen balls filled with perfumed water or other less savory liquids. Castigated as a “barbarous game” after independence (1822), entrudo was nevertheless practiced by people of all classes in the early nineteenth century. After tracing entrudo’s Iberian origins, the criticisms (and defenses) of it, police repression, this project turns to the institution of new forms of “civilized” celebration in the form of balls and public parades by societies of upper-class men. The conflicts over entrudo constituted a struggle about Brazil’s very nature at a time when new ideals such as citizenship and nationhood, challenges to slavery, and openings to outside cultural influences provoked numerous social anxieties involving questions of race, class, and gender.

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