Primary Source

Foundations: Research and Sponsorship

  • Image of mimeographed letter. Transcription below.

Annotation

The Brazilian intellectual Paulo Duarte wrote Tracy Kittredge of the Social Science Division of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1941. Duarte, then living in the United States because of his opposition to Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas, had worked alongside the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss in São Paulo in the 1930s. His letter was meant to increase the likelihood that the Rockefeller Foundation support Lévi-Strauss’s candidacy for research funding and teaching, as it had for many other refugee scholars. Thanks to Duarte and others, the Jewish Lévi-Strauss was able to flee Vichy France and continue his research during the war.

This document points to two important elements concerning intellectual exchange. First, it underscores just how significant institutions and funding are for creating the conditions of possible for intellectual life. The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, had an enormous impact on determining who was funded and therefore what kinds of projects would come into existence. Second, the document shows how international networks laid the foundation for the development of the social sciences. Here as elsewhere, we are beginning to understand just how important Latin American thinkers were in these global processes.

This source is a part of the Intellectual Exchange methods primer.

Eulalia Guzmán to Raúl Cordero Amador, Mexico, February 7, 1942

Transcription

“Cos Cob (Connecticut), 1.2.1941

Mr. Tracy Kittredge
Social Science Division
Rockefeller Foundation

Prezado Senhor:

Peço desculpas por escrever em portuguez, mas é o idioma em que melhor posso exprimir-me.
Recem-vindo da Europa, onde me achava como colaborador do professor Paul Rivet, no Museu do Homem, de Paris, acabo de ter noticia de que se acha em mãos da Rockefeller Foundation o nome de sr. Claude Levy Straus como provavel candidato a uma cadeira nos Estados Unidos. Informou-me, entretanto, meu amigo Henri Laugier que o facto de Levy Straus não haver ainda publicado a sua these fazia que se tornasse mais difficil esse convite, pela falta de referencias documentaes acerca da capacidade scientifica daquelle professor.
Este o motivo desta carta, sugestão de Madame Standinger. Tendo tido no Brazil o mais estreito contacto com o sr. Claude Levy Straus, posso fornecer a V. Exa. alguns dados sobre a acção daquelle scientista durante tres annos em que ali permaneceu. Esse contacto vem do facto de, àquelle momento, exercer eu como membro da Assembléa Legislativa do Estado de S. Paulo, as funcções de presidente da Comissão de Educação e Cultura daquella camara...”

Credits

Paulo Duarte to Tracy Kitteridge, Cos Cob, February 1, 1941, Rockefeller Archive Center, Archives, Record Group 1.1 Series 200 United States, box 52 Folder 609 Refugee Scholars- Lévi-Strauss, Claude, 1940-1951. Annotation by Ian Merkel.

How to Cite This Source
Foundations: Research and Sponsorship in World History Commons,