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The Place of Brazil in Time: The contributions of Oswald de Andrade and Stefan Zweig

Termin Label
Research webinar
Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Lecture by Laura Erber as part of the lecture series Transatlantic Modernities between Brazil and Austria.

Lecture by Laura Erber: The Place of Brazil in Time: The contributions of Oswald de Andrade and Stefan Zweig

Erber investigates Brazil’s temporal identity in the works of Oswald de Andrade and Stefan Zweig. It charts how Brazil's temporal inscription affects its cultural location and visibility within the global context. The anthropophagic philosophy of Oswald de Andrade and Zweig's "Brazil experiment”, developed in his 1941 book Brazil, land of the future, are taken here as evidence and witnesses of this temporal "crisis". They contradict the conception of Brazil as a backward country, with a temporal and cultural lag in relation to Europe, or attempt to recover the indigenous societal model in opposition to the European ideal of futurist art and its underlying worship of progress. François Hartog has argued that we currently live under a new regime of historicity, centered in the present as well as challenged by the loss of the future and the omnipresence of a past that does not pass. If this is the case, I suggest that both Oswald de Andrade and Stefan Zweig may offer clues about possible ways to rethink temporal semantics and reinterpret the heterochrony (Foucault, Chakrabarty, Fabian) of Brazil in the new complex temporality of the world.

Laura Erber is an art critic, visual artist and editor-in-chief at Zazie Edições ( She is Guest Researcher at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at Copenhagen University and Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP). Author of Ghérasim Luca (EdUERJ, 2012) and The Unproductive Artist (Âyiné, 2021), she has also published several collections of poetry, and the novel Esquilos de Pavlov (Alfaguara, 2013), translated into Spanish and Romanian. She collaborates in several Brazilian newspapers and cultural magazines such as Folha de São Paulo, Suplemento Pernambuco and Zum/IMS magazine. In 2015 she founded Zazie Edições, an independent publishing house, focused on the dissemination of theoretical-critical essays in an open access system. She is currently a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Central European University (CEU), in Budapest.