Marcelo Hoffman

Marcelo Hoffman is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University in New York City. He is the author of two books, Militant Acts: The Role of Investigations in Radical Political Struggles and Foucault and Power: The Influence of Political Engagement on Theories of Power.

Foucault in Brazil

Dictatorship, Resistance, and Solidarity

Philosopher Michel Foucault’s cultural criticism crosses disciplines and is well known as an influence on modern conceptions of knowledge and power. Less well known are the five trips he took to Brazil between 1965 and 1976. Although a coup in 1964 had installed a military dictatorship, Foucault kept his opinion on the Brazilian government largely to himself until October 23, 1975. On that date, he delivered a manifesto at a student assembly in São Paulo expressing his solidarity with students and professors protesting a wave of arrests and torture. This manifesto caught the government’s attention and became the focal point of the dictatorship’s surveillance of Foucault. Foucault in Brazil explores the production of the public antagonism between the philosopher and the dictatorship through a meticulous consideration of each of his visits to Brazil. Marcelo Hoffman connects history, philosophy, and political theory to open new ways of thinking about Foucault as a person and thinker and about Brazil and authoritarianism.