Postgraduate Program in History, UFOP


Presentation and History

The Postgraduate Program in History at UFOP (PPGHIS) initiated its activities in 2007, when the first master’s class was implemented, and in 2013 the first PhD class was opened. The program emerged in a context in which two fields of research that had always stood out in the Department of History of UFOP were expanding and gaining projection: studies related to Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries and those related to the History of Historiography and Theory of History. The program was initially structured around these two axes, with emphasis, in the case of the former, on the privileged proximity to numerous documentary archives related to the History of the state Minas Gerais during the 1700s and 1800s. In the years following the creation of the master’s and, more recently, of the PhD courses, there was a significant renewal of the faculty. Such renewal implied a notable enlargement of the thematic and methodological possibilities dealt with by the PPGHIS: Ancient History, History of America, Teaching of History and History of the Present Time gained new impetus, attracting a growing number of young researchers.


During its first quinquennium, the faculty underwent an important increase, with the enlargement of about 50% of the original board. Created with only 10 PhDs, two of them belonging to other departments, the program reached an average of 18 permanent professors, all connected to the Department – an expansion that has been maintained in recent times. The first finished studies and the development of collective research have gradually pointed to the need to redefine the lines of research, even aiming at the maturation of a PhD course project. Thus, throughout 2010, the PPGHIS was involved in a broad debate on the redefinition of its lines of research. This process signaled the vitality of the Program and the maturing of its research centers. When the PhD project was sent to CAPES, besides the two existing and reformulated lines, a third one appeared. The lines “Society, Power and Region” and “State, Identity and Region” were renamed, respectively to “Power, Space and Society” and “Ideas, Languages and Historiography.” The third line was created with the title “Power, Languages and Institutions.” Since this new configuration was foreseen in the doctoral project, in 2013 there was an effort not only to implement it, but also to adapt it to the master’s course. The subject area was changed from “State, Society and Region” to “Power and Languages,” aiming to better reflect the areas of interest of the researchers linked to the PPGHIS.


The incorporation of the new faculty members was in line with the recently (2017) reformulated accreditation rules in order to guarantee the Program organic growth in the following years. Both the approval of the doctoral project in 2012 and the elevation of the program’s grade to 5 at the end of the 2016 triennial evaluation indicated that the changes have produced highly positive results. During 2014, in order to institutionalize the new format of the PPGHIS, its regulations were reformulated. A unified selection model was established, whereby three selection boards, one for each line, evaluate both MAs and PhD candidates. The number of positions was adjusted so that the program could keep the ratio of number of students per advisor at an adequate level. It was defined that the PPGHIS will provide 30 positions annually, 20 for the master’s and ten for the PhD course.


In 2017 the program was one of the pioneers in UFOP in adopting racial quotas for its selection process and has stood out for the growing number of candidates from other major Brazilian universities, as well as from Latin America.



Program’s objectives:

  • To contribute to the best qualification of human resources in the area of Human and Social Sciences;
  • To train teachers to work in higher education and in institutions linked to research and/or the preservation of memory, both public and private;
  • To deepen professional and academic knowledge, as well as enable the development of the ability to carry out historical research;
  • To assist in the implementation of public policies linked to the areas of research and preservation of the historical and cultural heritage; to improve undergraduate teaching through the qualified training of the academic staff and the encouragement of research;
  • To disseminate the academic production both in the specific area of the graduate program and that produced in other research centers in Brazil and abroad;
  • To provide a meeting space for Brazilian and foreign researchers.



Subject area: Power and Languages:


The constitution of Modernity in the West implied a set of profound transformations. At least three movements stood out among those that characterized the formation of the Modern World: the advent of the corporative state, which delimits the context characterized as the Old Regime; the transformations initiated in the 17th century and consolidated in the 19th century, with the expansion of liberalism and nationalism; and the epistemological changes ratified in the field of the human sciences in the 20th century. Such movements are articulated because they have a direct impact on the ways by which historians currently choose their themes and research objects and conceive the methodological conditions of History as a discipline, articulating the categories of power and language. The notion that in social practices, language as structure only exists as spoken language, and vice versa, has been articulated to the idea that, even at the institutional levels, power does not exist as a thing, but as a relation.