Campus: CSU Long Beach -- December 17, 2001
Associate Professor of History at Cal State Long Beach Awarded
$40,000 Research Fellowship from The National Endowment for the Humanities
James Green, an associate professor of history at California State University,
Long Beach, has been awarded a $40,000 research fellowship from the National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a project that will look at the
history of Brazil's capital city of Rio de Janeiro during the late 19th
and early 20th centuries.
Titled "The Crossroads of Sin and the Collision of Cultures: Pleasure
and Popular Entertainment in Rio de Janeiro," the project will examine
the role of public space in the shaping of both popular and elite culture,
entertainment and leisure activities in that nation's largest city. The
downtown region of Rio, popularly referred to as the "Crossroads
of Sin," generated national theater, stage stars and was known for
its night life from high-class prostitution to the latest in European
Green, who lived in Brazil for about 10 years and has been doing research
related to the country for about 25 years, will study the significant
economic, political, social and cultural changes that took place in Rio
de Janeiro between 1860 and1920.
"Historians who have done studies on Brazil's history have focused
on the late 1880s--when slavery was abolished in 1888 and the monarchy
was overthrown in 1889 and a new Republican government was established,"
Green pointed out. "So, they have looked at the political, economic
and social economic transformation that took place after these societal
The history professor noted that there are no comprehensive and integrative
urban social histories of 19th or early 20th century Rio de Janeiro that
look at the relationship and interaction among different social groups
and classes. So, focusing on the city's downtown area, he will take a
look at the tensions in the social fabric that developed because of the
overlapping occupation of the site by members of Brazilian bourgeois society,
working-class men and women, Bohemians, rogue figures and prostitutes.
"By examining a broader time period, 1860 to 1920, I will be able
to analyze changes in public sociability, entertainment and leisure before
and after the end of slavery and the end of the Empire, which were the
result of a variety of factors," Green said. "This work should
shed new light on our overall understanding of urban life in Brazil and
Latin America in the crucial period of modernity and nation building."
The project is slated to begin in fall 2002 and will include a six-month
research visit to Rio de Janeiro. Green plans to examine booking records
for the police precinct that had jurisdiction over the downtown entertainment
areas of the city; court cases relating to public decency, vagrancy, brawling
and drunkenness; an extensive collection of maps and images of the area
from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Green also noted the involvement of the CSULB Geography Department, which
is helping to develop a computer program with a mapping system of Rio
de Janeiro's downtown area. Using a map he found from the 1860s, the department
will help plot who lived where and each building's use be it brothel,
bar, theater or night club.
Green earned his bachelor's degree at Earlham College in Indiana, his
master's degree at Cal State Los Angeles and his Ph.D. at the University
of California at Los Angeles.