I'm in the process of writing my masters' thesis for my course in Social Anthropology here in Rio de Janeiro. Friends who don't know Portuguese asked to see my work, and with that I realised writing in Portuguese was not the only problem they, or others, might have in reading my work.
The thesis is a dialogue with other (social and cultural) anthropologists: books that I've read, my teachers and friends. Reading it as a non-anthropologist is in one sense eavesdropping on a small part of a conversation, where by "small part" I mean the 50,000-word sprawl that is required for my qualification.
My reasons for blogging are to provide multiple translations. I want to give people who don't speak Portuguese a chance to know my work; I want to give bitesize formulations of the larger text; and I want to talk to people who are not social anthropologists.
In part, I hope for this to be a platform for informal exchanges that were going on anyway. And, time permitting, I'll try to post as I am writing.
I feel guilty for various reasons about not writing in Portuguese, and I apologise to those that this excludes. Ou seja, peço desculpas por não escrever em português. Disponho a vocês quem queiram a tese original. Especialmente lamento a exclusão de algumas das pessoas com quem eu fazia a pesquisa, e sem as quais não teria este trabalho.