PUCRS welcomes Michigan State University historian supported by Fulbright Brasil

Peter M. Beattie joined the School of Humanities to study issues related to 19th century Brazil

17/01/2023 - 13h45

Photo: Matheus Gomes

The Michigan State University (MSU) History professor Peter M. Beattie worked for four months at PUCRS, as Visiting Professor from the Graduate Program in History, developing studies in the field of Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention. During his stay, he dedicated himself to activities of education and research, in which he searched in documents from the Public Archive of the State of Rio Grande do Sul evidence for the comparative study on how appeals regarding Human Rights were made in the Court of Appeal of Porto Alegre and in the Court of Appeal of Recife, at the end of the 19th century.

Professor Beattie investigated and registered over 200 cases from the Court of Appeal of Porto Alegre between 1874 and 1899, where he examined documents that described the interaction between the poor (including the enslaved) and state institutions responsible for keeping the social order. With this study, the professor seeks to determine if different progressive reforms to improve and abolish slavery, as well as those intended to end the death penalty and corporal punishment, influenced the work done by Brazilian courthouses, at the time.

At PUCRS, the professor’s participation in the Symposium World in Motion: Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention stood out, promoted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (PROPESQ), in partnership with Fulbright Brasil, Fulbright Interdisciplinary and with the Institutional Project of Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt). In this opportunity, he presented the theme The Sequence of Reforms Connected to Human Rights: Corporal Punishment, Death Penalty, and Slavery in Brazil and the USA in the 19th Century, with commentary by PUCRS’s School of Humanities researcher Claudia Musa Fay.

Learn more: International Symposium discusses Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention.

During the time, he also held a seminar at the School of Humanities’ Graduate Program in History on Loans and Debts of a Historian and the first class of the semester with the theme Father against father: interdiction, vices, and ideas of happiness in a trader family from the state of Recife, 1866-1906. In addition, Beattie held the final lecture at the Historical Research Meeting (EPHIS): The Role of the Historian in Times of Crisis, an annual meeting organized by PUCRS’s Graduate Program in History students. At the event, the Michigan State University professor presented his lecture titled Reading dead people’s mail for a living: The Archive and the role of historians in uncertain times, online and for participants from all over Brazil.

“These activities gave me the ample opportunity for interacting and learning with PUCRS professors and students. I hope that, in the future, these experiences lead to research collaborations and student and professor mobility between both universities, particularly in the fields of 19th century history and the history of Africa and Africans in the Americas, important fields at the MSU,” concluded Beattie.

About the Fulbright Chair in Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention

Fulbright Brasil, international organization linked to the Brazilian and United States governments, gives out a scholarship to scholars and professors from the United States who stand out in their area of expertise, for the development of research and education activities in Brazilian universities.

Until now, PUCRS has been granted by the Fulbright Comission with three chairs. The first chair was received in 2020 in the field of Neuroscience, which was not implemented due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2021/2022, the second chair was implemented in Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention (Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award in Democracy, Human Rights and Violence Prevention) and, in 2023, PUCRS will welcome, on a date still to be decided, a researcher in the field of biodiversity and conservation development. This is an opportunity for strengthening collaboration ties with American researchers and institutions, which may contribute significantly to the internationalization of the University’s Graduate Programs.

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