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Parrhesia and female leadership: radical women in Brazilian geography against dictatorship and academic conservatism

Federico Ferretti 1, 2
2 EHGO
GC (UMR_8504) - Géographie-cités
Abstract : This paper addresses the professional trajectories of women in geography who were or are based at the University of São Paulo (USP) and who belong to generations which faced the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985). Theoretically inspired by the ancient Greek notion of parrhesia in the Foucauldian sense of resistance and 'fearless speech', this paper extends recent literature on feminist historical geographies and histories of radical geography, and responds to pressing needs for challenging Anglo-American hegemonies in these fields. To this end, I draw upon exceptional sources, such as autobiographical archival materials and three interviews with 'privileged witnesses', to make internationally known outstanding cases of female leadership that disrupt narratives on 'big men' which have hitherto hidden these stories. Although most of these women do not display explicitly a feminist label, their trajectories show how feminist practices were put in place, sometimes implicitly, by female scholars mostly coming from working-class and migrant backgrounds. These cases from the Global South further expose the feminist and radical principle that emancipation should not be conceded from above but taken from below.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03114183
Contributor : Federico Ferretti <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 18, 2021 - 5:54:12 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 3:25:58 AM

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Federico Ferretti. Parrhesia and female leadership: radical women in Brazilian geography against dictatorship and academic conservatism. Gender, Place and Culture, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), inPress, ⟨10.1080/0966369x.2021.1873747⟩. ⟨hal-03114183⟩

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