Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



This paper attempts to comprehend the existent connections between culture and politics in the development of modern nation-states. My reflection is based on a long-term analysis of the relations between intellectuals and political elites during the period of state building and nation building in Brazil (1822–1970). In this article, I intend to analyze specifically the period from 1920 to 1950, trying to understand the significance of the Brazilian intellectual movement designated as modernism and its influences over the cultural and political scenario. My hypothesis is that the cultural ideals of the modernist intellectuals were directly linked to political issues of state-building. I also examine the case of the Brazilian modernist architecture and its relations with the Brazilian state, uncovering how the artistic utopia of this architecture was part of a political and social agenda.