Claudio Cardinali

Claudio Cardinali holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from USP (2015) and another in Multilingual Communication, with a focus on translation in English, French, and German, from the Technische Hochschule Köln (2018), as well as an MA in Language and Literature – French/Portuguese from UzK (2020). He is currently a doctoral candidate associated with the Luso-Brazilian Institute of UzK and the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at USP.

Aesthetics and Dialectics in the Periphery: The Reception of Critical Theory in the Work of Roberto Schwarz
The aim of his research is to specify Brazilian essayist Roberto Schwarz’s understanding of literature, based on a comparison with authors who are part of the tradition associated with Schwarz, including Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin. The primary focus is the reception of these thinkers in Schwarz’s essays, with special reference to Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory and Benjamin’s understanding of History. In the first stage, each individual perspective is drawn into a convergence. The aim is to establish the extent to which Schwarz is undeniably an heir to German Critical Theory. In the second stage, the work of the Brazilian critic is discussed from the perspective of his own argument. According to Schwarz, Brazil’s position on the periphery of capitalism enabled a writer like Machado de Assis to understand not only the fundamental social dynamics of the post-colonial period in the country, but also to point out ex negativo the distinctive features of the modes of being at the centre of the world system. The underlying idea here is that the ‘Brazilian version’ of Critical Theory, embodied in Schwarz’s essays, has specific traits that afford insights often more comprehensive than those of its ‘classic version’.

Maurício Rodrigues Pinto

Maurício Rodrigues Pinto is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at USP (PPGAS-USP). Both his undergraduate degrees in History (bacharel and licenciado) were obtained from the same university, as well as a specialisation in sociopsychology (Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo, or FESPSP) and a graduate degree (mestrado) from the interdisciplinary programme Social Change and Political Participation (USP), with the thesis Pelo direito de torcer: das torcidas gays aos movimentos de torcedores contrários ao machismo e à homofobia no futebol. He is a researcher at the Núcleo de Estudos dos Marcadores Sociais da Diferença (Numas/USP), studying dynamics of gender, sexuality, and race in sports, especially in the context of Brazilian football. He also works as a teacher in formal and informal education.

Stories of Life, Stories of the Ball: Trans Football Players and Their Insurgencies on the Field
This research project explores and analyses the personal trajectories of trans football players. While football has attained the status of a national sport in Brazil, it has historically been characterised as belonging to the world of cisheteronormative men. Through ethnographic approaches to amateur indoor and outdoor football teams formed by trans men and transmasculine people, this study aims to show how trans people have taken ownership of the game and re-signified it. The pioneering team is Meninos Bons de Bola, created in August 2016. Today, there are more than 15 transmasculine amateur teams across the country, occupying public spaces traditionally associated with cisgender and supposedly heterosexual men. The main objective is to assess the meanings these teams attribute to the practice of football, and how the presence of transmasculine bodies on the playing fields challenges gender norms and expectations associated with the sport, especially those pertaining to masculinity. Furthermore, the project aims to determine how organising and belonging to exclusive and welcoming football teams may contribute to affirmation, both politically and in terms of identity. The research takes place in a context of political disputes over rights granted to the trans population, including in sports, in view of a number of proposals designed to restrict the participation of trans people in sporting events.

Leila Giovana Izidoro

Leila Giovana Izidoro is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in Human Rights at USP. She holds a graduate degree (mestrado) in the same area from the same institution. During her graduate studies, she completed a research internship at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIS-UNAM). She is a member of the research group Human Rights, Centrality of Labour, and Marxism (DHCTEM-USP) and the Latin American Climate Lawyers Initiative for Mobilizing Action (LACLIMA). Her research agenda focuses on the labour struggles of waste-pickers in Latin America. At Mecila, she examines the impact of the process of financialisation of the environment in the construction of these workers’ legal subjectivity, based on a case study of the interactions that take place in the reverse logistics of recyclable packaging in Brazil, especially in the city of São Paulo.

Green Jobs and Legal Subjectivity: A Study Based on the Recycling Industry in Latin America
This research project aims to assess the extent to which the financialisation of the environment has shaped the “entrepreneurial” legal subjectivity of waste-pickers in Latin America. An assessment of waste-pickers’ work within the scope of the concept of “green jobs”, as defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), indicates the emergence of a new understanding of “employment”, one that embraces atypical hiring practices as a reflection of the workers’ free initiative. Based on Karl Marx’s labour theory of value and Evgeni Pachukanis’ critique of the legal form, this comparative case study examines the relations between waste-pickers, corporations, and the State with regard to the reverse logistics of recyclable packaging in Brazil and Mexico. In reverse logistics, waste-pickers are remunerated for the tonnage of waste collected, with offsetting increments according to the type of material, a co-operative credit fund, or provision of resources for operational improvements in their activities. Such a scenario of apparent coexistence in the sphere of circulation leaves aside the inequality in terms of production, whereby the exploitation of waste-pickers’ labour power occurs at the bottom of the recycling chain. The project identifies the constraints imposed by capital on the political power of these workers, steering them towards contracts and the enterprises’ sustainability.

Magdalena Tóffoli

Magdalena Tóffoli is a CONICET doctoral fellow at the IdIHCS and a PhD candidate in social sciences at the UNLP, where she previously earned an undergraduate degree (licenciatura) in sociology. Her main research interest is the processes of collective organisation in the sectores populares (working classes), especially among workers in the popular economy.

Subjectivity, engagement, and politics in an Argentine working-class organisation (2016-2021)
My doctoral research aims to contribute to the study of the political experiences of the popular economic sectors by analysing the forms of collective action, participation, and sociability that have developed around the organisation of workers in Argentina. I investigate the processes of social and political mobilisation focussing on the production of subjectivities that these processes enable. I use qualitative methods to analyse the organisation process in Greater La Plata’s popular economy from 2016 to 2020. This approach stresses the perspective of textile, rural, and community-care workers who participated in the Movimiento de Trabajadores Excluidos (Excluded Workers’ Movement), one of the representative organisations of the sector. I investigate the organisational practices, the meanings attached to participation, and the forms of sociability around the organisation to understand the particularities of this process in relation to the workers’ social and political trajectories.

Rafael Elías López Arellano

Rafael Elías López Arellano is a sociologist (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and holds a graduate degree (maestría) in history from El Colegio Mexiquense. Currently a PhD candidate in history at COLMEX, López Arellano is interested in the conception and use of the figure of the indio among intellectuals and literati in the context of nation-building in nineteenth-century Mexico, specifically, its construction and graphic representation in lithographic art. His doctoral research project addresses the history of lithographic art in Mexico and the visual representations of the indio in literary magazines and albums of this period. He analyses the work of graphic artist Casimiro Castro and geographer Antonio García Cubas to understand the knowledge frameworks and pictorial tradition they employ in their conception and portrayal of the indio. Equally relevant are the markers Castro and Cubas used to identify and characterise this figure.

From consolidating costumbrismo to constructing ethnographic identity: Visual representations of the indio in nineteenth-century Mexico in the work of Casimiro Castro and Antonio García Cubas
My research focusses on the history of lithographic art in Mexico and the visual representations of the indio in the literary magazines and albums in the nineteenth century. My main objectives are to advance the knowledge of the history of this art and of the way that the indio was represented in it; to elucidate some of the ways Casimiro Castro and Antonio García Cubas constructed the image of this demographic; and to determine their contribution to the visual culture of other Mexicans. I argue that the collection of lithographic prints was part of a visual economy that involved a network of collaborators inside and outside the country. I also argue that a bi-vocal analysis of the lithographs, one which considers both text and image, shows the knowledge frameworks of the gaze inherent in their respective visual representations. These portrayals, at times used to describe and at others to identify, exhibits a tension between the picturesque, costumbrismo (folkloric representation), and ethnographic.

Ruby Mascarenhas

Ruby Mascarenhas is a PhD candidate in social and cultural anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin and a DAAD scholarship holder. Their current research examines the professional trajectories of Brazilian travesti performers, transformers, and drag queens in the German entertainment market from the 1960s on. They hold an MA in social anthropology and a BA in social sciences from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

The Travelling Venuses: Brazilian Travestis, Transformistas and Drag Queens in German Travestieshows (1960s–Today)
Since the 1960s, Brazilian travestis, transformistas, and drag queens have performed on stages in Western Europe. The project analyses the development of artistic and professional careers of Brazilian migrants in the Travestieshow scene in Germany from the 1960s onwards, tracing transformations and continuities in a globalised entertainment market. By investigating migration projects related to artistic careers, this research addresses gaps in the scholarship on Brazilian migration to Germany and LGBTQ migration from Brazil to Europe. It contributes to a critical analysis of processes of otherness in German and Brazilian societies and documents the history of overlooked artists. By analysing social markers of difference (such as race and nationality) in both artists’ and media discourses, the goal is to understand the role of racial and national stereotypes in artistic careers and the entertainment sector. The methodology includes archival research, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and digital ethnography.