Mélanie Toulhoat


Culture, Identities, and Power



Mélanie Toulhoat is a historian, researcher in contemporary history of Brazil and the African Portuguese-speaking Countries (PALOP). She holds a PhD in Contemporary History from the Sorbonne Nouvelle University (IHEAL-CREDA) and the University of São Paulo (2019). Her thesis on the history of the Brazilian military dictatorship won the 2020 Thesis Prize of the Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle. This work analyses various forms of graphic humour published in the independent press, and some visual and behavioural mechanisms of political and cultural resistance against censorship and repression, under the Brazilian military regime (1964-1985).

She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Excellence “Histoire et Anthropologie des savoirs, croyances et techniques” (LabEx HASTEC) of the Practical School of Higher Studies (EPHE), affiliated to the Institut des Mondes Africains (IMAF) in 2020-2021, and a scientific member of Casa de Velázquez – École des Hautes Études Hispaniques et Ibériques in 2021-2022. She also chairs ARBRE — Association pour la recherche sur le Brésil en Europe and is a member of the coordination of the international public history project História da Ditadura [History of the Dictatorship].

Her current research focuses on popular education and adult literacy projects developed in post-independence Guinea-Bissau by a range of national and international educators, cadres and activists.

Research fields

  • Cultural history
  • Contemporary history of Brazil and PALOP
  • Transatlantic militant circulation
  • Education and image

Selected publications

  • Toulhoat, Mélanie. Rire de la dictature, Rire sous la dictature. L’humour graphique dans la presse indépendante brésilienne sous le régime militaire. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, in press.
  • Toulhoat, Mélanie. “ “Alguns desenhos guardados aí…” A censura ao humor gráfico durante o regime militar brasileiro. Um estudo de caso,” Tempo & Argumento 14 (2022): e0103. [PDF]
  • Toulhoat, Mélanie. 2022. “« Lutar, Aprender, Vencer, Trabalhar »: Alphabétisation Pour Adultes, éducation Populaire Et réseaux Militants En Guinée-Bissau Nouvellement indépendante,”. Revue d’histoire Contemporaine De l’Afrique Julho (2022). [PDF]
  • Toulhoat, Mélanie. 2022. “Um novo imaginário nacional? O humor gráfico publicado na imprensa independente brasileira durante a progressiva redemocratização,”. Brasiliana 9 (2020): 312-331. [PDF]

Main projects

  • Individual project ““Vô aprender a ler, pra dar lição aos meus camaradas”. Pilot adult literacy experiences and international activist circulations in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, during the anti-colonial war of liberation and after Independence (1963-1979)” — Hosted by the IHC and funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (2021.03948.CEECIND). 2022-2028
  • Researcher in the project “TRACS — Transatlantic Cultures” — Funded by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, the Fundação de Amparo à pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, the France-Berkeley Fund, the Institut des Amériques, and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Saclay. [link]


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