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Grant number like: FT-59122-11

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Amy Chazkel
Columbia University (Flushing, NY 11367-1597)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2011 – 7/31/2011

Urban Chiaroscuro: Rio de Janeiro and the Politics of Nightfall

This project departs from my earlier research on the social and cultural history of the conflicts over urban space to focus on a little explored phenomenon: urban time. Specifically, my book-in-progress examines the changing meaning of the threshold between day and night during the long nineteenth century in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before the epoch of public illumination, nightfall had a decisive meaning. In the eyes of the law in the early- and mid-nineteenth century, an artisan carrying a tool became a criminal wielding a weapon once the sun set. Curfews intended to keep order in the city targeted errant slaves and their companions and collaborators, real or potential. Changes in the built environment and urban culture in the early twentieth century attenuated the legal and political importance of nightfall. However, I will argue, the long history of the distinction between day and night bore a lasting impact on city's legal culture into the twentieth century.