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Amy Chazkel
CUNY Research Foundation, Queens College (Flushing, NY 11367-1597)
Urban Chiaroscuro: Rio de Janeiro and the Politics of Nightfall

A book-length study about the changing meaning of the night in urban Brazil from the early-19th to the mid-20th century, focusing primarily on the capital city of Rio de Janeiro.

In 19th-century Rio de Janeiro, sunset triggered a legal regime distinct from the one that prevailed in daylight; nightfall turned an artisan carrying a tool into a criminal wielding a weapon, and a free person of color into a presumed slave. Changes in the built environment and urban culture in the early 20th century attenuated the legal and political importance of nightfall. Yet the long history of the distinction between day and night bore a lasting impact on urban legal culture. This fellowship would allow me to devote the year to completing a book that uncovers a crucial but unexplored dimension of the development of the politics of everyday urban life. Returning to an era before commercial nightlife, my study places the history of Rio and other Brazilian cities by night in the context of the Atlantic world as the Americas underwent decolonization to explore how the study of urban temporality can reveal new insights into the global processes that shaped the modern world.

Project fields:
Latin American History; Latin American Studies; Urban History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018