Understanding the Legacies of Peripheral Literature in Brazil


My project focuses on the peripheral literature movement in Brazil, a twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary movement in which authors from socioeconomically marginalized urban neighborhoods describe issues in their communities. Because intellectual authority is typically derived from high levels of formal education, yet many peripheral literature authors position their authority to represent their communities as coming from the experiences of educationally disenfranchised populations, I explore who these authors are entering into dialogue with and how they are perceived by this audience, using this literary movement as a starting point to investigate more overarching questions of race, gender, and cultural citizenship in the Americas. Prior to obtaining the Tinker Grant, I had researched a specific author from this movement in my graduate coursework and now seek to connect my previous research to larger patterns. Due to the virtual format of my research in summer 2022, I focused on familiarizing myself with major works of this movement and with current academic discussions surrounding it, including conducting interviews with scholars relevant to the topic. An area in which others conducting similar research might direct their attention in the future would be in comparing peripheral literature texts from non-traditional publishing venues such as digital literature to peripheral literature from leading publishers. My summer research will be useful going forward because it has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of current issues in contemporary Brazilian literature and allowed me to establish professional contacts in this area.

Tessa Wood
Publication date: 
October 30, 2022
Publication type: 
Student Research