The Fuvest list

Anouk Kruithof, 2009
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OPEN LETTER FROM UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS AND LITERARY CRITICS

The selection criteria for a single author profile does not meet the inclusion requirements

The University Foundation for the Entrance Exam (FUVEST), which organizes the entrance exam at the University of São Paulo (USP), recently released the list of books valid from 2026 to 2028, favoring exclusively female authors. In 2029, three works by men will replace three previous ones, while the others will remain the same. Of a total of nine authors, three are black (one Brazilian, one Angolan and one Mozambican) and six are white (one of them Portuguese).

Without a doubt, a broad discussion about the canon and the current dispute over it is essential. But the selection criteria for a single author profile is not consistent with inclusion either, given the exclusion of black writers, LGBTQIAPN+ representation and that of indigenous peoples. In another aspect, the literate production of colonial Brazil disappeared from the list of works, in a probable discard of what is believed to be “old”.

Furthermore, the adoption of a single criterion for choosing books disregards the specificity of literature, with the risk of corroborating the new utilitarian times of devaluation of artistic languages ​​and, above all, the focus on the figure of the author or on the layers more superficial aspects of the text.

The transfer of a contemporary principle to the selection of works from different styles and periods also runs the risk of demanding from the authors an objective that they did not propose in their historical moment or, if so, they certainly did so in a way that is different from current values. But the work of art tends to say more than it intends, just as ways of reading vary according to the times and different groups of readers. In this sense, FUVEST determines a single form of production and reception, assuming that literature is a document or illustration of current theories.

The seriousness of Machado de Assis's removal from the FUVEST book list speaks for itself. In the context of hygienist medicine that disseminated the “instinct” of motherhood and domesticated female actions with the function of guaranteeing the well-being of the bourgeois family, Machado de Assis subjected this “instinct” to ridicule, inventing women as a subjectivity marked by desire and non-monogamous sexuality. With Capitu, Machado de Assis formalizes the invisibility of the woman who wanted to be the master of her destiny. The gallery of Machado female characters makes you think.

There are other works in which literary quality is decisive for understanding the social condition of gender, such as Industrial park, from Pagu; S. Bernardo, by Graciliano Ramos; The Imaginary, by Adalgiza Nery; Spilled milk, by Chico Buarque; It is Symphony in White, by Adriana Lisboa.

Obviously, it is not expected that all these aspects would be considered. It is possible, however, a better combination between these factors that would privilege the singularity of fiction in all of the chosen works and escape the imposition of a single assumption.

The loss of literature's place on the list also occurs in the choice of Humanitarian Booklets, by Nísia Floresta, an important title, but not intended to be fiction. He discusses the female condition in different times and the need for formal education for women.

Given this particular choice, does FUVEST intend to select titles that are not just literary from now on? The decision to replace the already traditional entrance exam lists with works from other discursive genres will have an impact on the educational field. Poetry, prose fiction, criticism, literary theory and comparative literary studies will be transformed into secondary knowledge, with the risk of their gradual disappearance from the education system.

In the short term, skills that the study of literature provides are lost: the inseparability between writing and interpretation; the promotion of citizenship – aesthetic enjoyment, the critical ability to read the world and the sense of otherness. According to a study by the Brazilian Association of Comparative Literature (“Letter to ABRALIC”, 2023), the growing discredit of literary knowledge in official documents already leads, among other problems, to the “de-intellectualization” of students and teachers.

We recognize the autonomy of FUVEST, but we do not dispense with the assumption of dissent regarding intellectual issues. The public University is responsible for debating, listening and valuing the knowledge it produces.

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Adriana Iozzi Klein – Italian Literature – USP

Adriane da Silva Duarte – Greek Language and Literature – USP

Alcides Villaça – Brazilian Literature – USP

Alexandre Pilati – Brazilian Literature – UnB

Ana Beatriz Demarche Barel – Portuguese Language Literatures – UEG

Ana Laura dos Reis Côrrea – Portuguese Literature – UnB

Ana Luiza Martins – CONDEPHAAT

Ana Paula Pacheco – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Anco Márcio V. Tenório – Letters – UFPE

André Luis Rodrigues – Brazilian Literature – USP

André Medina Carone – Philosophy – Unifesp

Antonio Dimas – Brazilian Literature – USP

Ariovaldo José Vidal – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Arlenice de Almeida Silva – Philosophy – UNIFESP

Augusto Massi – Brazilian Literature – USP

Betina Bischof – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Carlos A. Ferreira Martins – Institute of Architecture and Urbanism – USP- São Carlos

Carlos Cortez Minchillo – Spanish and Portuguese – Dartmouth College/USA

Carlos Vogt – Linguistics – Unicamp

Celso Frederico – Sociology/ ECA – USP

Cilaine Alves Cunha – Brazilian Literature – USP

Cilza Bignotto – Lyrics – UFSCar

Claudia Maria de Vasconcellos – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Davi Arrigucci Jr. – Literary Theory – USP

Deane Costa – Literary Theory – UnB

Dóris Natái Cavallari – Italian Literature – USP

Eduardo Brandão – Philosophy – USP

Edvaldo Aparecido Bergamo – Portuguese Literature – UnB

Eliane Robert Moraes – Brazilian Literature – USP

Enid Yatsouda – IEL – Unicamp

Erwin Torralbo Gimenez – Brazilian Literature – USP

Ettore Finazzi-Agrò – Brazilian and Portuguese Literature – University of Rome

Fabio Cesar Alves – Brazilian Literature – USP

Fabio de Souza Andrade – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Fernando Paixão – Literature – IEB/USP

Francisco Foot Hardmann – IEL – Unicamp

Gilberto Pinheiro Passos – French Literature – USP

Giuliana Ragusa – Greek Language and Literature – USP

Horácio Costa – Portuguese Literature – USP

Ida Alves – Portuguese Literature – UFF

Ivan Marques – Brazilian Literature – USP

Ivone Daré Rabello – Literary Theory and Brazilian Literature – USP

Jacqueline Penjon – Lyrics – Sorbonne/France

Jean Pierre Chauvin – Brazilian Culture and Literature – USP

Jefferson Agostini Mello – Brazilian Literature – USP

João Adolfo Hansen – Brazilian Literature – USP

João Roberto Gomes de Faria – Brazilian Literature – USP

Joelma Santana Siqueira – Brazilian Literature – UFV

John Gledson – Brazilian Studies – University of Liverpool/ UK

Jorge de Almeida – Literary theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Jorge Schwartz – Spanish – USP

José Sueli Magalhães – Linguistic Studies – UFU

Katia Muricy – ​​Philosophy – PUC/RJ

Laura Janina Hosiasson – Spanish – USP

Leandro Saraiva – Arts and Communication – UFSCar

Leon Kossovitch – Philosophy – USP

Leopoldo Bernucci – Spanish-American Literature – UC-Davis/USA

Leyla Perrone Moisés – French Literature – USP

Lincoln Secco – History – USP

Luís Bueno – Brazilian Literature – UFPR

Luiz Costa Lima – Literary Theory – PUC/RJ

Luiz Renato Martins – Visual Arts – USP

Luiz Roncari – Brazilian Literature – USP

Leandro Pasini – Brazilian Literature – UNIFESP

Mamede Mustafá Jarouche – Arabic Literature – USP

Marcelo Ferraz de Paula – Lyrics – UFG

Marcelo Pen – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Márcia de Arruda Franco – Portuguese Literature – USP

Marcos Flamínio – Brazilian Literature – USP

Marcus Mazzari – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Margareth Santos – Spanish Literature – USP

Maria Aparecida Junqueira – Letters – PUC/SP

Maria Augusta Costa – Spanish – Lyrics

Maria Augusta Fonseca – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Maria Célia Leonel – Lyrics – UNESP/ Araraquara

Maria da Glória Bordini – Letters – UFRGS

Maria Eugênia Boaventura – IEL – Unicamp

Maria Inês Batista Campos Noel Ribeiro – Philology and Portuguese Language – USP

Maria Lúcia de Barros Camargo – Literary Theory – UFSC

Marilena Chauí – Philosophy – USP

Marilene Weinhardt – Lyrics – UFPR

Marisa Lajolo – IEL – Unicamp

Marta Kawano – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Maurício Santana Dias – Italian Literature – USP

Mayra Laudanna – Visual Arts – USP

Mayra Moreyra Carvalho – Portuguese and Brazilian Literature – UEMG

Milena Martins – Lyrics – UFPR

Milton M. Azevedo – Spanish and Portuguese – UC-Berkeley/USA

Mirella Márcia Longo Vieira Lima – Literary Theory – UFBA

Mirhiane Mendes de Abreu – Brazilian Literature – UNIFESP

Murilo Marcondes de Moura – Brazilian Literature – USP

Olgária Matos – Philosophy – USP

Paola Poma – Portuguese Literature – USP

Paula da Cunha Corrêa – Greek Language and Literature – USP

Paulo Alberto da Silva Sales – Literary Theory – UEG

Paulo Eduardo Arantes – Philosophy – USP

Paulo Elias Allane Franchetti – IEL – Unicamp

Priscila Loyde Gomes Figueiredo – Brazilian Literature – USP

Priscila Rossinetti Rufinoni – Philosophy – UnB

Rafael Campos Quevedo – Lyrics – UFMA

Raul Antelo – Literary Theory – UFSC

Renato Janine Ribeiro – Philosophy – USP

Ricardo Fabrini – Philosophy – USP

Ricardo Musse – Sociology – USP

Ricardo Kobayaski – professor and coordinator of the website A Terra é Redonda

Roberta Barni – Italian Literature – USP

Roberto Schwarz – IEL – Unicamp

Rodolfo A. Franconi – Spanish and Portuguese – Dartmouth College - USA

Rogério Max Canedo – Lyrics – UFG

Salete de Almeida Cara – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Sandra Guardini Teixeira Vasconcelos – English Literature – USP

Sárka Grauová – Romanesque Studies – Carolina University/ CZ

Simone Rossinetti Rufinoni – Brazilian Literature – USP

Solange Fiuza Cardoso Yokozawa – Lyrics – UFG

Sylvia Moretzsohn – Social Communication – IACS/UFF

Tânia de Luca – History – Unesp/Assis

Telê Ancona Lopez – IEB – USP

Tércio Loureiro Redondo – German Literature – USP

Teresa Cristófani Barreto – Spanish – USP

Thiago Mio Salla – ECA – USP

Vagner Camilo – Brazilian Literature – USP

Valentim Facioli – Brazilian Literature – USP

Valéria Gil Condé – Romance Philology – USP

Viviana Bosi – Literary Theory and Comparative Literature – USP

Yudith Rosenbaum – Brazilian Literature – USP


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