History Seminars

Since 2011, the Graduate Program in the History of the Sciences and Health has organized a series of seminars in the field of history. Held on Thursdays during the school semester, these gatherings bring in professors and researchers from leading Brazilian and foreign institutions. The goal is to stimulate an exchange of knowledge and give graduate students an opportunity to become acquainted with outstanding research in history and historiography, the history of science, the history of public health, and related fields.


1st semester 2019 Schedule


The Graduate Program in the History of the Sciences and Health was founded within the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz in 2000 and opened its doors to the first class of students the following year. Today PPGHCS is recognized at home and abroad as a leading center in the history of the sciences, especially biomedicine and health. The Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES/MEC) has accredited our master’s and doctoral programs and awarded them both the agency’s top grade (5).

The cornerstone of our program is a dual commitment to faculty and student academic production of the highest quality and to active engagement with our fields of interest. Enforcement of this principle fosters and expands exchange efforts, strengthens our ties with the academic world at large, and helps us fulfil our social role of training specialists who contribute to society.

At PPGHCS, we believe that the analysis of science and health as objects of historical importance encourages broader reflection on the relationship between this knowledge and the demands and challenges of Brazilian society. With this in mind, we are committed to playing an increasingly larger role in shaping the national research and teaching agenda.

Our program is tailored primarily to persons holding bachelor’s degrees in the human, social, health, and biological sciences. It focuses on three lines of research: the history of biomedical science, the history of medicine and disease, and the history of health policies, institutions, and professions.

Both the master’s and doctoral programs are full time and admit 18 and 12 students per year, respectively.

When available, scholarships are awarded pursuant to Grant Committee criteria and in keeping with the terms defined by research agencies (CAPES, CNPq).

Students who fulfill the requirements stipulated in the program regulations receive the title of Master or Doctor of the History of the Sciences and Health.

Program Chair
Gisele Porto Sanglard

Assistant Program Chair
Kaori Kodama

Graduate Committee
Carlos Henrique Assunção Paiva
Flavio Coelho Edler
Rômulo de Paula Andrade
Luiz Alves Araújo Neto (student representative)

Classroom and Library

The program has four classrooms (304, 305, 306 and 308), with a total capacity of 90 seats. Both provide TV, DVD, sound, and data-show equipment. By opening a divider, the two rooms become an auditorium that seats 70. Other program rooms include the Registrar’s Office (307), the Office of the Program Chair (307), and two rooms for short courses or meetings.

The student room (302) has six computers connected to the Internet and the Fiocruz intranet, as well as lockers for storing material. Students can access the CAPES Journal Portal here. The computers are also linked to the Printing and Binding Service, located next door, where black-and-white photocopies can be purchased for a small fee. The student room is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.

The Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, with which the PPGHCS is affiliated, has an archives and a library on the history of the sciences and health. Students also have access to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Library Network, which comprises ten interlinked facilities.

A restaurant is located in the PPGHCS building. A shuttle service operates between the building and the main Fiocruz campus, where bank branches, postal services, restaurants, and an urgent care clinic can be found.

More information on infrastructure and services available at the PPGHCS building and the Fiocruz campus can be found on the Public Services page.


International cooperation


- Agreement with the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL) and its Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT)

Signed in 2010, this cooperation agreement encompasses the history of the sciences, technology, and health and the history of the preservation of cultural heritage. The agreement calls for joint initiatives in research and teaching, including joint classes, project development, and organization of scientific events, faculty and student exchange, and co-authored publications.

PPGHCS is represented on the team by researchers Jaime Benchimol, Magali Romero Sá, and Simone Kropf, while Isabel Amaraland Ana Paula Diogo represent the UNL. The UNL Institute for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also takes part in activities under this agreement.

Under the auspices of the agreement, professors Magali Romero Sá (PPGHCS), Isabel Amaral (UNL), and Jaime Benchimol (PPGHCS) led the symposium Science, Medicine, and Technology in Scientific International Relations at the 14th National Seminar on the History of Science and Technology, held in 2014 and sponsored by the Brazilian Society of the History of Science (SBHC). In 2015, the agreement sponsored the 2ndLuso-Brazilian Meeting on the History of Tropical Medicine: Tropical Medicine and Global Health in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, which took place in Portugal. More information on the event can be found at https://eventos.fct.unl.pt/conghmt/home    

A course on the history of tropical medicine was given during the 2nd National Congress on Tropical Medicine, held in Lisbon in 2013. It was taught by PPGHCS professors Magali Romero Sá and Jaime Benchimol and UNL professors Isabel Amaral and Ana Paula Diogo. In 2014, a 10-session course on the history of tropical medicine was taught jointly by PPGHCS and UNL faculty. It took place at the Fiocruz campus in Rio de Janeiro and was transmitted live to participants in Lisbon. Based on this earlier experience, in 2017 students at both PPGHCS and UNL were offered a pioneer opportunity to enroll in a regular four-credit web class on the same topic, taught jointly by Brazilian and Portuguese professors. Students in Brazil and Portugal attended classes at the same time.

For further information, contact Jaime Benchimol at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- Agreement with the University of York 

In 2011, PPGHCS and the University of York concluded talks aimed at cooperative research and teaching initiatives in the history of medicine. The first product was the workshop Methodologies and Directions in the History of Medicine: The Inaugural Meeting of the Wellcome UK-Brazil Network for the History of Medicine, held in York in October 2011 with the participation of faculty from both institutions. A dossier was subsequently published in the journal Wellcome History. The formal agreement between Fiocruz and York was signed in September 2012.

In 2013, the British Academy awarded an International Partnership and Mobility grant (IPM 2013) to the joint research project Public Health Policies and Practice in the Caribbean and Latin America. Led by Magali Romero Sá (PPGHCS) and Henrice Altink (Department of History, University of York), the project counts on the participation of professors from PPGHCS (Jaime Benchimol, Gilberto Hochman, Kaori Kodama, Tânia Salgado Pimenta, Cristiana Facchinetti, and André Felipe Cândido da Silva) and researchers from the Universidad de Chile, University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago), and University of York. Through a series of case studies presented at annual workshops, held in York, Brazil, and Trinidad, the project explores the model of medicine and health in non-European contexts, with an emphasis on the multidirectional movement of ideas and practices between Europe and the Americas. Findings will be published in pertinent science journals in England, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

Another product of the agreement was the implementation of a partnership with the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), under which the Casa de Oswaldo Cruz will be responsible for holding Global Health Seminars in the Americas. These events have been held in Geneva since 2004 under the auspices of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Their purpose is to equip the international community to address current global health challenges by fostering an understanding of the history of health. The seminars bring together scholars, historians, public policy makers, public health professionals, and the public at large for discussions of specific issues.

In 2016, in partnership with the University of the West Indies, the agreement sponsored a three-day conference entitled Public Health and Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. The findings of a research project of the same name were presented and discussed at that time. The project team included researchers Nicolas G. Llinás (University of Illinois), Terencia K. Joseph (University of the Southern Caribbean), Rita Pemberton (University of the West Indies), Jill Briggs (University of California, Santa Barbara), and Francisco Javier Martinez (CIDEHUS-Universidade de Évora), among others. Professors André Felipe Cândido da Silva, Cristiana Facchinetti, and Dominichi Miranda de Sá were PPGHCS participants. The closing session was chaired by Jaime Benchimol, also on the PPGHCS faculty. Further information can be found at https://publichealthandsociety2016.wordpress.com/    

Three events were held at Fiocruz in 2016 as part of the Global Health Seminars. Two addressed the history of global health, covering topics in Hansen’s disease and Aedes aegypti and Zika, while the third explored ethics and global health. The seminars were attended by researchers from a number of fields and institutions, including PPGHCS faculty. It was the first time that Global Health Seminars took place on an American continent.

For further information, contact Magali Romero Sá at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- Agreement with the University of Michigan

The cooperation agreement signed by Fiocruz and the University of Michigan (UM) in September 2012 encompasses a number of research and teaching areas, including the history of medicine, health, and the human sciences.

The agreement is part of the Brazil Initiative, sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Michigan, and is led by Alexandra Minna Stern, professor with the UM Department of History, and Gilberto Hochman, PPGHCS professor.

See https://www.ii.umich.edu/lacs/brazil-initiative.html 

The first meeting of researchers from both institutions was held at Fiocruz on August 6-9, 2013. Information on research fields was presented and the outlook for future topics and cooperation was discussed.

Here are some highlights of this cooperative effort:

- University of Michigan-Brazil Platform Symposium, sponsored by the UM at Ann Arbor in November 2014, with the participation of groups from the UM-Brazil cooperative initiative. PPGHCS professors Simone Kropf and Gilberto Hochman attended the event and presented their research to UM students.  

- Race, Discrimination, and Health: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, an international seminar held in Rio de Janeiro in August 2015, organized by Alexandra Minna Stern (UM), Dora Chor (ENSP/Fiocruz), and Ricardo Ventura Santos (ENSP/Fiocruz). PPGHCS faculty members Tânia Salgado Pimenta and Nísia Trindade Lima took part. 

- Knowledge Networks and Health Innovation in the (North and South) Americas, an international seminar organized by Alexandra Minna Stern (UM) and Steven Palmer (University of Windsor), held in Detroit in April 2016. PPGHCS professors Simone Kropf, Gilberto Hochman, Marcos Cueto, and Nísia Trindade Lima took part.

- History of Medicine. Short course taught by Joel Howell (UM) at Fiocruz in August 2014.

- History of Eugenics: Expanding Perspectives. Organized in 2015 by Robert Wegner (PPGHCS) and Alexandra Minna Stern (UM), with the participation of historians Jerry Dávila (University of Illinois), Vanderlei Sebastião de Souza (Unicentro-Paraná), and Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, or UFMG). The course was offered at PPGHCS to students enrolled at that institution and at the UFMGGraduate Program in History; it was transmitted simultaneously to the UFMG over the National Research Network’s web conference platform.

Research projects:
- Medicine, Technology, and Policy: The History of Cardiology in Brazil (1930s to 1950s). Led by Simone Kropf (PPGHCS) and developed in partnership with Joel Howell (UM). It received the support of the CNPq from December 2013 to January 2016 (Chamada MCTI/CNPq/MEC/CAPES No. 43/2013).

- Science, War, and Cultural Diplomacy in the Americas: Exchange Initiatives between the United States and Brazil (1938-1945).  Postdoctoral project of Simone Kropf (PPGHCS), through the UM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, from August 2017 to July 2018.

- Health, Cold War, Democracy, and Development (Brazil, 1945-70). Postdoctoral project of Gilberto Hochman (PPGHCS), through the UM Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, from August 2017 to July 2018.

Research visits by faculty and students:
- Visits by Simone Kropf to Ann Arbor to research sources at the UM Bentley Historical Library (November 2014 and April 2016); visits by Joel Howell to Rio de Janeiro to offer a course and take part in an event (August 2014 and August 2015); visits by Simone Kropf to New York to research sources at the Rockefeller Archive Center and take part in the History of Cardiovascular Disease Workshop (November 2015 and June 2016); trip by Simone Kropf to Washington, DC, to research sources at the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park (June 2016).

- Research visit by PPGHCS doctoral candidate Ana Rocha as part of her doctoral studies in the United States (January 2015).

- Research visit by doctoral candidates Luiz Alves and Rita de Kasia Andrade Amaral, selected from among PPGHCS doctoral candidates, with the participation of Alexandra Minna Stern as evaluator (April 2017). The students researched sources at UM archives and libraries, attended classes at the Department of History, and met with professors to discuss their research projects.


HOCHMAN, Gilberto. “Brazil isn’t only disease: Juscelino Kubitschek and the search for a new image of Brazil,” Translating the Americas, vol. 3, pp. 87-108, 2015. Available at

Two special issues of journals were published as a product of the course History of Eugenics: Expanding Perspectives, held in 2015. The editors were Robert Wegner (PPGHCS), Alexandra Minna Stern (UM), and Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes (UFMG). The first was a special issue of História, Ciências, Saúde—Manguinhos, entitled “Latin Eugenics in a Transnational Context” (vol. 23  suppl. 1, Dec. 2016). It is available at

The second was a special issue of Varia Historia, entitled “Science, Race, and Eugenics in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century: New Objects and a New Temporality in an International Panorama” (vol. 33, no. 61, Jan.-Apr. 2017). It is available at

KROPF, Simone; HOWELL, Joel. “War, medicine and cultural diplomacy in the Americas: Frank Wilson and Brazilian cardiology.”Under final review by the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.

For further information, contact Gilberto Hochman at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


- Agreement with the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF)

The agreement establishes a scientific and educational cooperation program to promote academic and research activities in the field of history at the graduate and undergraduate levels. It encompasses: the design and realization of joint research projects by PPGHCS and UFF Department of History faculty; joint graduate-level classes taught by PPGHCS and UFF Department of History faculty, with credits counting towards either program; classes in the History of Science or the History of Health as electives towards a bachelor’s degree in History at UFF; and seminars and workshops to present and discuss the findings of research conducted by faculty and students at both programs.

Brasiliana – 1956-1993: Second Phase of a Collection that Metamorphoses Brazil. Lecture given by Professor Giselle Martins Venâncio, of the UFF Graduate Program in History (PPGH/UFF) as part of Thursday Meetings, an event organized by PPGHCS (2016).

State, Intellectuals, and Modernization in Brazil: Perspectives in the History of the Sciences and Health. Workshop organized by PPGHCS and the UFF Department of History (2013).

History of the Sciences. Offered at the undergraduate level through the UFF Department of History.

History and Historiography of Assistance and Health. Offered jointly by the Graduate Program inEthnic and Race Relations, at the Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca (CEFET-RIO); PPGH/UFF; and PPGHCS. In 2016, Gisele Sanglard and Tânia Salgado Pimenta (PPGHCS) and Maria Renilda Nery Barreto (CEFET) were responsible. Guest professors were Renato Franco and Maria Martha de Luna Freire (PPGH/UFF) and Luiz Otávio Ferreira (PPGHCS).

History of Health in Brazil. Taught by Gisele Sanglard and Tânia Salgado Pimenta (PPGHCS) in 2016, with Renato Franco (PPGH/UFF) also taking part. The class was taught by Gilberto Hochman (PPGHCS) in 2015, with the participation of Renato Franco. Enrollment was offered at both institutions.

History, Science, and Health in International Relations. Taught by Magali Romero Sá (PPGHCS) and Larissa Moreira Viana (PPGH/UFF) in 2013, with the participation of guest professors Íris Borowy (Institute for History, University of Rostock, Germany) and André Felipe Cândido da Silva (PPGHCS).

Travels and Natural History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: New Approaches. Taught by Lorelai Kury (PPGHCS) in 2013, with enrollment offered at both institutions.

Essay, Erudition, and Academic History. Taught by Giselle Venâncio (PPGH/UFF) and Robert Wegner (PPGHCS) in 2017, with enrollment offered at both institutions.

Launched in 2015, the research project entitled The Interiorization of Care: A Study of the Expansion and Diversification of Philanthropic Health Assistance in Brazil (1808-1945) is conducted by Gisele Porto Sanglard, Luiz Otávio Ferreira, and Tânia Salgado Pimenta (PPGHCS); Maria Renilda Barreto (CEFET-RJ); Maria Martha de Luna Freire (Community Health Institute, UFF); and Renato Franco (PPGH/UFF).

The research project Poverty, Health, and Illness at Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Rio de Janeiro in the Long Term is conducted by members of the History of Health Assistance Care research group and is led by Gisele Sanglard (PPGHCS). Participants include Tânia Salgado Pimenta and Luiz Otávio Ferreira (PPGHCS) and Renato Franco and Jonis Freire (PPGH/UFF). In 2016, the project was funded by CNPq.

The research project Science and Medicine in Transnational Scientific Relations, led by Magali Romero Sá (PPGHCS), was developed jointly with Larissa Moreira Viana (PPGH/UFF) during 2015.

Other activities:
Robert Wegner (PPGHCS) discussed the work of Giselle Venâncio, UFF professor, and André Furtado, UFF doctoral candidate, as part of an Afternoon Research Encounter, an ongoing event organized jointly by the UFF Center for Studies of the 1800s and by the Writings in History and Historiography of the South Laboratory (Escritas UFF). Held in 2016, the session was entitled Pasts (Im)perfect, or the Buarquean Perspective on the Empire of Brazil in America.

Robert Wegner and Kaori Kodama (PPGHCS) take part in Escritas UFF, an endeavor that includes PPGH/UFF professors Giselle Venâncio, Maria Veronica Secreto, Denise Rollemberg, and Francine Iegelski. In March 2017, Kaori Kodama discussed a paper presented by Thiago Almeida (USP), entitled “Agreements and Divergences: The Annales School and French Historical Epistemology.” In June 2017, Robert Wegner discussed “Essay and Erudition in Brazilian Historiography,” a paper presented by Fernando Nicolazzi (UFRGS).

- Agreement with the Graduate Program in Children’s and Women’s Health (PPGSCM), of the Fernandes Figueira Institute (IFF), Fiocruz

The class Gender, Biomedicine, History, and Public Health has been taught annually since 2010 by Luiz Antonio Teixeira (PPGHCS), Claudia Bonam (IFF/Fiocruz), and Ilana Löwy (CERMES; PPGHCS Visiting Researcher). Enrollment is offered at both institutions.

 Initiatives conducted in partnership with other programs:

- Program for Studies and Research in the History of Psychology (Clio-Psyché), tied to the Department of Social Psychology, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)

The program is conducted by professors from the institutions that comprise the Work Group on the Social History of Psychology within the National Association of Research and Graduate Programs in Psychology (ANPEPP), with the participation of their students. Clio-Psyché has organized meetings every two years since 1998, with the regular involvement of PPGHCS students and faculty, especially Professor Cristiana Facchinetti. Clio-Psyché is part of the Iberoamerican Network of Researchers in the History of Psychology (RIPeHP), whose member researchersare from countriessuch as Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. RIPeHP is currently coordinated by Cristiana Facchinetti, who also participates in the CNPq-supported project Technology, Knowledge, and Practices in the Construction of Ways of Being and Doing in Rio de Janeiro (1850-1950), launched in 2013 and led by Alexandre C. Castro (UERJ).

- Graduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Under a close partnership, PPGHCS and the UFRJ Graduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology (PPGSA) have undertaken joint research projects, publications, classes, and events. In 2015, the partnership culminated in the release of the Virtual Library of Social Thought (BVPS) (http://bvspensamentosocial.icict.fiocruz.br/). Development of the joint library project began in 2012, led by Nísia Trindade Lima (PPGHCS), with financial support from the Rio de Janeiro state funding agency (FAPERJ) and Fiocruz. The library offers a broad panorama of authors and scholarship related to Brazilian social thought, along with material applicable to research and teaching in the field.

4th Seminar on Social Thought at Institutions in Rio de Janeiro (2015)
Organizers: PPGHCS/Fiocruz; PPGSA/UFRJ; the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s Center for Research and Documentation (CPDOC/FGV); and the Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation.

3rd Seminar on Social Thought at Institutions in Rio de Janeiro (2014)
Organizers: PPGHCS/Fiocruz; PPGSA/UFRJ; CPDOC/FGV; and the Group on Comparative Studies and Social Thought (NEPS/UFF).

2nd Seminar on Social Thought at Institutions in Rio de Janeiro (2013)
Organizers: PPGHCS/Fiocruz; PPGSA/UFRJ; CPDOC/FGV; and NEPS/UFF.



Lines of Research

History of the Biomedical Sciences

This line of research explores the historical dimension of science from the perspective of the actors and institutions occupying this social world and the cognitive processes and practices underlying the production of knowledge as a collective enterprise. Within this framework, investigations focus on the features of scientific activity as a constituent element of the modern world at distinct historical moments and on the process of the institutionalization in Brazil. Research has encompassed studies on scientific institutions, ideas, and groups and the biographies and careers of scientists; the history of specific fields, such as natural history, medicine, and psychiatry and other areas of psychology; the relationship between social thought, interpretations of Brazil, and scientific institutions and knowledge; the relationship between race, health, and society; the circulation of knowledge and international relations in science; gender relations in science; scientific and intellectual conceptions of nature; and the relationship between humans and the environment.

History of Health Policies, Institutions, and Professions

This area investigates the knowledge and practices that have shaped health as a political and social phenomenon within distinct historical contexts. Research topics include ideas, initiatives, and practices of an institutional, collective, public, and/or voluntary nature designed to assist, protect, and safeguard individuals and society from the effects of poverty and disease; conceptions of health and related practices embraced by distinct social groups within government and civil society; and the relationship between biomedical theories and health initiatives and policies. Specific projects have examined the relationship between health, citizenship, and the nation-state; practices and concepts in the fields of medical assistance and healthcare; actors, institutions, and policies in disease prevention and control; the training of professionals and organizations in the field of health; public health policies in Brazil and their ties to international agendas; and philanthropic institutions and voluntary aid organizations.

History of Medicine and Disease

This line of research probes representations, knowledge, and practices related to disease as a social and cultural phenomenon. It explores the processes by which individuals and groups, including the ill, signify the experience of disease and illness within distinct historical contexts and how this experience impacts our perception and organization of the social world. Research has examined concepts and practices related to specific diseases, along with the control, prevention, and treatment measures implemented by medical institutions, the government, and organizations and groups from civil society. This line also addresses medical concepts and interventions involving the body and behaviors that have been deemed ‘sick’ and ‘deviant’; the relationship between forms of housing, sociability, and conditions of health and illness among favela dwellers; scientific knowledge and public health initiatives and policies in the field of tropical medicine in Brazil; and the relationship between health, disease, and treatment practices among slaves and slave descendants.

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