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Graduate Program in Social History of Culture

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+55 21 3527-1100
+55 21 3527-1101

Departamento de História
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225
Cardeal Frings, 5º andar
Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Office hours:
8:00am to 12:00pm and
2:00pm to 5:30pm 

General Information

Program Overview

The Graduate Program in Social History of Culture is composed by a Master’s and Doctoral courses, both dedicated to teaching and research in their respective levels.

The curriculum organization is composed by disciplines and academic activities related to the Concentration Areas: Social History of Culture and to the Lines of Research: Theory, Historiography and Intellectual History, Cultural Experiences and Connections, and History of Art and Architecture.

Concentration Area refers to the specific field of historical knowledge that constitutes the central reference of studies and researches developed in the Program. Lines of research are specialized sub-areas that aggregate and systematize faculty members' and students’ researches developed from research projects coordinated by the Department's faculty. The research groups are registered in the Directory of the CNPq Research Groups and are composed by faculty members, graduate students, holders of the IC and PET scholarships from the undergraduate course as well as volunteers. They are, therefore, one of the activities of integration between graduate and undergraduate programs in the History Department. Some research groups have an interdepartmental or interinstitutional character.

The Program's curriculum structure is composed by the following group of disciplines:

  1. Compulsory disciplines:
    Graduate students are only required to complete one (01) compulsory discipline called History and Culture, which is always taught in the first semester for incoming Master and Doctoral students. Due to its structural character, this discipline’s content is directly linked to the concentration area-Social History of Culture- and is defined by the theoretical and historiographical debate between History and Culture. This discipline intends to welcome the Program’s new students, exposing them to the different theoretical and historiographical perspectives that structure it. Doctoral students who have completed the Program’s master’s course are exempted from this compulsory discipline, and should complete another elective discipline in its place. If interested, however, the Doctoral student may still complete this discipline as an elective discipline at any given time during the course-in this case, an equivalent in another discipline of the Program must be found.
  2. Elective disciplines from the Concentration area:
    Elective courses are offered by the Program every semester. They are linked to the themes of the lines of research and also propose an open abstract Seminar (“Special Seminar in Social History of Culture”) that retrieves the link to the Concentration Area. Their study plans must obtain at least 9 (nine) credits, both in the Master's and in the Doctoral courses.
  3. Elective Disciplines from related fields:
    Disciplines offered by the Program or by other credentialed Graduate Programs, from either PUC-Rio or from other IESs, that can, on one hand, respond to the academic interests of students and their Master’s and Doctoral researches and, on another hand, expand the academic interlocution between the students and the Program. The Master’s and Doctor study plans should grant the student three (3) credits in courses of this nature.
  4. Dissertation and Thesis Seminars:
    The Thesis and Dissertation Seminars consist of programed activities related to the enhancement of academic formation, to the development of research and to the writing of the dissertation or thesis, in a more direct relationship between the advisor, the line of research's faculty members and the student. Work on the guidance and preparation for the evaluation stages of the research results, according to the internal regulation, which can include meeting lectures and text discussion and participation in debates and seminars.

Master’s students’ study plans are worth six (6) credits in Dissertation Seminar, and Doctoral students’ study plans are worth eighteen (18) credits in Thesis Seminar.

During the Doctor’s course, the student must present in two different times the partial results of his or her research: firstly, in the third semester (Thesis Seminar II), therefore, before the Qualifying Exam, and secondly, in the seventh semester (Seminar Thesis VI), in order to demonstrate the stage of the research and reflections in progress. The purpose of these seminars is to encourage the production and writing of the thesis, as students are committed to presenting new texts of their research progress.


The Graduate Program in Social History of Culture is aimed at Undergraduate and Master’s degree holders from different academic backgrounds, preferably from fields related to Social and Human Sciences, and has the following objectives:

  1. Provide professors and researchers necessary theoretical and practical tools for the demands of continuous academic activities.
  2. Establish a balance between the research, the complementation and broadening of historical studies and the intellectual enrichment of the professional historian.
  3. Value the humanistic perspective through a studies proposal open to interdisciplinarity.
  4. Promote the achievement an intellectual autonomy through a solid teaching and a curriculum that provides basic principles for innovative reflection and always oriented by intervention in the world of science, humanities and social reality.
  5. Contribute to the production of knowledge in Social History of Culture and its dissemination.
  6. Stimulate faculty and student exchange.
  7. Build the necessary and organic integration between, on one hand, teaching and research and, on the other hand, graduate and undergraduate activities.


The Graduate Program in Social History of Culture of the History Department at PUC-Rio started its activities in 1986, with the Master's course. It was approved by the University Council of PUC-Rio on August 20, 1986, selected its first class in the beginning of 1987 and was recommended by CAPES on April 13, 1987.

1998 saw the birth of the Doctoral course, maintained in the Social History of Culture concentration area.

The program as a whole, with its Master's and Doctoral courses, was first recognized by the Ordinance 2530 of MEC, on September 4, 2002, published in the Official Diary of the Union, number 173, Section 1, p.26.

The Graduate Program in Social History of Culture maintains the three program principles that guided the creation of the Master's course and that form its identity by expressing themselves in research projects developed by faculty members and students: a philosophical conception, a curriculum format and a thematic horizon.

The conception of the course is historically defined by a search for balance between humanistic perspective and specialized research, in the sense that the former opens a wide and interdisciplinary horizon, and the latter situates and specifies this horizon in the field of experience developed by concrete research. The synergy created by these two vectors allows, simultaneously, the identity and plasticity of the Concentration Area and Lines of Research.

The format of the course, through its curriculum, was elaborated in a way to put into practice the above options and, in this way, to establish a minimum of compulsory and elective disciplines, avoid prerequisites, and highlight the decisive role of the advisor professor in the graduate students’ academic training. One should note that, besides research advisory, the professor advisor also has an active presence in each student’s study plan elaboration and constant  academic interlocution with them.

The concentration area was defined, since the beginning of the Program, as a thematic horizon of common denominators between the reflection of the faculty members, pioneer in defining the Social History of Culture as general trait of its identity. This general identity trait earns more specific contours in the lines of research and the dynamics that the Research Projects translate to the academic routine.

Dialoguing with other established Programs in the field, both in Brazil and abroad, the Graduate Program in Social History of Culture at PUC-Rio makes the emphasis on socio-historic approach on cultural phenomena and theoretical and historiographical concerns its specific place of intellectual interlocution and its differential.

As of the beginning of January 2009, the Program has produced 243 Master’s dissertations and 46 Doctoral Thesis. The presence of the Program’s Graduates in many universities in Brazil and even abroad, in research institutions, in the fields of arts and cultural creation, seems to confirm the consolidation of the Program and indicate that it has been achieving its objectives.

The Program’s Thesis and Dissertations defenses, as well as the faculty members’ academic production, manifests that, for the Program, the study of several forms of conceiving and writing history of cultural creations or manifestations, including the very concept of culture, is based on the premise of the historicity of these forms and implies methodological options. Thus, if the reference to the social realm always leads to the investigation of historical production conditions, both of the cultural objects as the speeches addressed to them, the theoretical, methodological and empirical dimensions and their combination in the writing of history remit to its various possible configurations. Understood as a History of history, the historiography is thought of as an analysis of the production of historical works in terms of clarification of its theoretical assumptions and the  contextualization of its writing.

Concentration areas and lines of research

Concentration area: Social History of Culture

Line of Research 1: Theory, Historiography and Intellectual History

This Line of Research, on one hand, dispenses a historiographical treatment to issues linked to debates on Theory of History, which allows us to analyze it from an attentive perspective of their non-normative, discontinuous and built character. On the other hand, it develops an Intellectual History focused on the exam of categories - such as “example” and “narrative”- of intellectual protocols typical of historiographical traditions and of concepts and discourses that constitute its more specific objects. As a result, this line of research incorporates the theoretical discussion about culture notions in the set of the human sciences. This Line's faculty members are: Ricardo Benzaquen, Henrique Estrada, Flavia Eyler, Marcelo Jasmin, Marco Antonio Pamplona, Mauricio Parada e Maria Elisa Sá.

Line of Research 2: Experience and Cultural Connections

This Line of Research aims at researching customs, ideas and beliefs shared by different individuals and groups, in their processes of communication, exchange and cultural connection. In the track of possibilities opened by transnational approaches, compared and connected, as well as the criticism to the supposed totality understood by the concept of culture, gathers studies that denaturalize and problematize the multiple identities forged from it. Through continuous dialogue with others humanities and social sciences, notably Anthropology, Geography, the Study of Language and Education, it proposes itself to reflect on the variables of identity and alterity construction processes. For such, the dimension of experience is privileged, in an attempt to comprehend, in an integrated form, both the intellectual and artistic elaborations of several subjects ad groups and the perspectives expressed in their practices, experiences daily relations. This Line’s faculty member are: Juçara Barbosa, Sergio Hamilton Barra, Larissa Rosa Correa, Eunicia B.B. Fernandes, Diego Antonio Galeano. Regiane Augusto de Matos, Leonardo A.M. Pereira and Antonio Edmilson M. Rodrigues.

Line of Research:  History of Art and Architecture

The basic motivation of this Research Line is to promote a critical reflection about Art and Architecture, with emphasis on their forms of historicity and with attention of the historical production. Far from prioritizing an exclusively internal reading of art history, it seeks to link itself with the fields of Philosophy, Aesthetics, Culture, Anthropology and other areas of social and human sciences. The main (but not exclusive) focus of these researches involve the historical development of art in modern and contemporary times. This Line’s faculty member are: Ronaldo Brito Fernandes, João Masão Kamita and Sergio Bruno Martins.

Recognition of the Course

Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Eduction Personnel; from Brazilian Ministry of Education) evaluation: grade 4 for the 2010-2012 period.
Approved by the CNE/CES MEC n.288/2015 of July 08, 2015.

Requirements for obtaining the Master’s and Doctoral degrees


Complete 21 credits, distributed as follows:


Complete 30 credits distributed as follows:

Admission and Enrollment

The registration and selection of applicants are done in the second semester of each academic year, following the calendar fixed by PUC-Rio.

In addition to the general regulatory requirements, the History Department requires the following from applicants:

Students must have sufficient availability to follow the courses and fulfill the Program’s required tasks.