Clinical Listening and Corporeal Resonance in the Brazilian Belle Époque

  • Dylon Lamar RobbinsEmail author


This chapter examines the convergence of ideas regarding resonance and racialization in Salvador da Bahia in the final decades of the nineteenth century. It begins with an analysis of period reception of the phonograph, highlighting demonstrations of the device for the Brazilian Emperor, Dom Pedro II, and, after his exile, for the ascendant bourgeoisie. The phonograph, serves, as well, as a point from which to consider how medically informed listening practices were brought to bear upon the social realities of Afro-Brazilians in the period and the status of their bodies. This is studied through the work of the medical criminologist, Raimundo Nina Rodrigues, with particular attention to his dialogue with the work of French neuropathologists like Jean Martin Charcot. Through an analysis of his case study of a young Afro-Brazilian woman named Fausta, the chapter discusses the roles of sound recording technology in a former slavocracy.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Spanish and Portuguese/Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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