№ 367/2008 from Nov 17, 2008
The Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität and the Brazilian Embassy in Berlin, in cooperation with the Ibero-American Institute, are hosting a symposium on João Guimarães Rosa. Its theme is "Spaces and Paths: Regional and Universal Dimensions." The international symposium will take place Dec. 1 – 3, 2008. The opening event will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 1 at the Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität. The symposium is being held on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Brazilian writer and diplomat, João Guimarães Rosa.
The many anniversary celebrations in Brazil and numerous other countries provide an opportunity for a closer analysis of the work of João Guimarães Rosa, which up to now has received little attention in Germany. Specialists from Brazil, Germany, and other European countries will discuss the social, geopolitical, and symbolic spaces in Rosa's work. The main focus will be on the ways in which the rural world of Brazil's outback was connected with the urban areas that were rapidly changing due to the modernization taking place from the 1940s to 1960s. Other socio-cultural dynamics stemming from an accelerated modernization and globalization will also be considered.
Rosa is significant not only for his literary output, but also his activities as a diplomat in Hamburg from 1938 to 1942. He used his position to assist in the rescue of persecuted Jews and thus plays an important role in the context of German-Brazilian history.