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Missing encounters? Translation and Brazilian critical geography, 1946-1978 (and today)

Event type
London Group of Historical Geographers
Event dates
, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Online- via Zoom
Archie Davies (University of Sheffield)
Email only

This paper will revolve around two of the key texts of leftist, ‘critical’ geography in Brazil: Josué de Castro’s Geografia da Fome (1946), and Milton Santos’ Por Uma Geografia Nova (1978). Until now, neither text has been published in English translation. Other work has served to introduce these two Brazilian geographers to Anglophone geography: in the case of de Castro, translations of Geopolítica da Fome and for Milton Santos his work of urban economic geography, Shared Space: The Two Circuits of the Urban Economy in Underdeveloped Countries (1979). The lack of translations of their more foundational work has had profound effects on how these geographers have been (mis)understood in anglophone critical geography, and more broadly how Brazilian geographical thought has been ignored in anglophone understandings of the intellectual history of the discipline. This paper will introduce the histories of these books, and argue that a focus on translation can offer a new lens on narrating histories of geography. It will do so by discussing my own different methodological relationships with translation: in the case of Geografia da Fome an attempt to tell a story of mis- and missed-translations through archival research, and in the case of Por Uma Geografia Nova, through translating the work itself.

Archie Davies is Leverhulme early Career Fellow in the University of Sheffield. He is a political ecologist with research interests in the geography of hunger, translation and the history and philosophy of geography.