Mauricio de Almeida Abreu: Brazilian’s Historical Geography leading-edge
Patrícia SILVEIRA, Pedro II College, Brazil
Deborah FONTENELLE, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Brazil
Mauricio de Almeida Abreu (1948-2011) was one of the most important historical geographers in Latin America. He was responsible for consolidating the field of Historical Geography in Brazil in recent years. The goal of this paper is to pay tribute to Mauricio Abreu by acknowledging his work as a professor, a researcher, an advisor, and as an essential part in Brazilian Historical Geography. This proposal focuses on the living experiences of two former undergraduates tutored by Professor Abreu between 2006 and 2011. Mauricio Abreu was a professor in the Department of Geography at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and had dedicated more than forty years to teaching and researching, especially in the fields of Urban Geography and Historical Geography - focused on Rio de Janeiro’s city. In this Department, Abreu was responsible for the creation of one of the most important and active research groups in Historical Geography in Brazil. His work has achieved other academic fields, such as History, Architecture, and Urbanism, where Professor Abreu is recognized for his contributions. Abreu’s last work was the monumental and brilliant book called ‘Historical Geography of Rio de Janeiro - 1502-1700’ (Abreu, 2010). After fifteen years working in different archives in Brazil, Portugal, France and Vatican, looking for textual, iconographic and cartographical sources concerning the genesis and the urban evolution of Rio de Janeiro, Mauricio Abreu was able to write an incredible geographical work focused on the colonial city’s early history (Oliveira, 2011; Gomes, 2016). The legitimacy of Mauricio Abreu’s Historical Geography was based on the theoretical-methodological rigor, the meticulous and accurate skill with archival sources, the full understanding of the time that such work requires, and in his delightful writing that enchanted all people.
Keywords: Mauricio de Almeida Abreu|Life-Writing|Brazilian Geography|Historical Geography|Rio de Janeiro