Abaixo, minibiografia sobre Skidmore escrita por James Green, que o sucedeu na cátedra na Universidade de Brown.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Thomas E. Skidmore, the prominent historian of Brazil, passed away on June 11, 2016 in Westerly, Rhode Island. He left a rich intellectual legacy in his books and articles that analyze politics, society, and culture in twentieth-century Brazil.
In 1967, Skidmore moved with his family to Madison, Wisconsin where he led a large Latin American Studies program at the University of Wisconsin. He edited the Luso-Brazilian Review and trained many generations of scholars, while continuously maintaining a close relationship with Brazil. In 1972, he was elected President of the Latin American Studies Association. Two years later, Skidmore published Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought that was a pioneering contribution to Brazilian intellectual history. It was recently reissued in Brazil as Preto no Branco—Raça e nacionalidade no pensamento brasileiro (1970-1930) by Companhia das Letras.
After twenty years at the University Wisconsin, Skidmore was appointed the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Professor of Latin American history at Brown University. He directed the Center for Latin American Studies for a decade and completed The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-85, published in Portuguese under the title Brasil de Castelo a Tancredo. He retired from Brown University in 1999.
Among the most well known Brazilianists, on two occasions he made public statements about the political situation in Brazil that caused confrontations with the military dictatorship. In 1970, Skidmore and three other prominent scholars of Brazil in the United States signed an open letter condemning the imprisonment of the leading Marxist historian Caio Prado Júnior. At the time, Skidmore served as the Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Latin American Studies Association. In that capacity, he sponsored a resolution condemning the military regime’s systematic repression of Brazilian academics and other oppositionists. In retaliation for his political stance, the Brazilian government denied him a research visa to teach a seminar at the State University of Campinas in the summer of 1970.
In 1984, on the eve of the return to democratic rule, while lecturing in Brazil, Professor Skidmore was summoned to appear before the Federal Police for commenting on the political situation and was threatened with expulsion from the country. Charges were later dropped. Many academics, politicians and journalists came to his defense, considering the actions of the Federal Police as unconstitutional and a violation of academic freedom.
Skidmore is survived by his wife Felicity and three sons.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida:
Enquanto estive em Washington, convivemos em algumas ocasiões, sempre por minha iniciativa, pois que estimulei os estudos sobre o Brasil nos EUA através de diversas iniciativas todas acolhidas pelo Embaixador Rubens Barbosa.
Abaixo, e apenas relativo ao ano de 2003, quando já me preparava para sair de Washington, algumas notas de trabalhos que elaborei ou planejei, em relação aos Brasilianistas, em geral, a Tom Skidmore em particular.
1117. “O americano cordial: Thomas Skidmore e a história do Brasil”, Washington, 17 set. 2003, 1 p. Esquema de possível obra sobre a produção historiográfica do Prof. Thomas E. Skidmore, constando de introdução analítica, depoimento pessoal, seleção de textos, biobibliografia. Submetida a TS (Thomas_Skidmore@brown.edu).