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Research Project “Transnational Cabarets” within a Test Scholarship at Freie Universität Berlin

Rubens Mascarenhas Neto reports on his research.

News from Jul 24, 2020

As I dwelled into the history of Brazilian travesti/transgender/drag queen artists that worked in European Cabarets from 1960s onwards, I have found yet another case in which gender, sexuality, race, and nationality complexify an already complex phenomenon: migration.

The trajectories of such fascinating groups, which faced persecution in Brazil, inspired me to investigate the intersections between social markers of difference and migration, a very relevant scientific and social question today. Since my country finds itself nowadays again in a dire and stressful political, social, and educational situation, I not only felt closer to these artists but I was certain that I had to pursue a PhD abroad.

With support from the FU Berlin Office in São Paulo, I established contact with Professor Dr Stephanie Schütze, from the Lateinamerika-Institut (LAI). From this fruitful encounter I managed to produce an initial draft to be submitted to the Test-Scholarship for Prospective PhD. Students Program, from the Center for International Cooperation (CIC).

Being awarded with the scholarship, I arrived in Berlin in the Summer of 2019. I was welcomed at an excellence centre, surrounded by stimulating colleagues, professors and staff. I profited from the libraries, facilities, colloquiums, workshops, talks and seminars at LAI, at FU-Berlin and in Berlin. During my stay, I also had the opportunity to access the archives of the Schwules Museum, a fundamental step to delineate my research questions. At the end of my stay I was able to submit projects to funding agencies such as the DAAD and the Elsa-Neumann Stiftung.

A report from Rubens Mascarenhas Neto, PhD candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universität.

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