University of São Paulo: Book retrieves memories of 50 years of USP’s Institute of Psychology



In 2020, USP’s Institute of Psychology (IP) celebrated 50 years of existence. The coronavirus pandemic hindered, but did not prevent, birthday celebrations. In December, the IP team met at a virtual event to recover the memory of those 50 years with the launch of a commemorative book.

50 years of the Psychology Institute of the University of São Paulo is a book written by many hands, under the organization of professors Marilene Proença and Andrés Antúnez and Aparecida Angélica Sabadini. These hands represent all sectors of the community that make up the PI: teachers, students and non-teaching staff.

The book has nine thematic chapters that recover from the memories of important academics who passed through the IP and remarkable episodes of student life to extension projects and intellectual production. It also pays homage to the work of the technical-administrative employees and strolls through the physical space where the institute is installed, passing through the fauna and flora of the campus, the area that houses laboratories and classrooms, the Biblioteca Dante Moreira Leite and the construction of the Casa das das Indigenous Cultures.

In addition to the book, the IPUSP 50 Years Commission launched a commemorative website , where you can consult the psychology timeline at USP, see photo galleries and download the publication in PDF.

University Memory

Photo: Reproduction / IP USP
Psychology was born as part of USP at its foundation in 1934. However, the discipline spent its first 35 years as a chair of the then Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters. It was with the state decree 52.326, of December 16, 1969, that the opportunity arose for the former psychology department to emancipate itself and become a higher education institution entirely dedicated to the science of psychology.

This trajectory was built by the work of many people, such as the pioneers Annita de Castilho and Marcondes Cabral, Arrigo Leonardo Angelini and Samuel Pfromm Netto, mentioned in the first chapter of the book, which recovers the memory of the institute’s builders. “Never complain, students, that the foundations are these and not others. The greatest virtue of the foundations is that they exist. Then, we try to build what we can from now on ”, said the author of the chapter, professor Sandra Ribeiro.

And from the pioneers here, IP grew and developed. In 2020, its community was formed by 73 teachers, 123 technical-administrative employees, 410 undergraduate students and 524 undergraduate students. Today, the institute also has the largest psychology library in Latin America, with 38 thousand books, almost 8 thousand tests and 953 journal titles.

In recent years, the institute has revised its mission, reinforcing values linked to scientific knowledge, democracy and social justice. It is also preparing to, from 2021, receive a group of new students formed by 50% of graduates from public schools and implement, over the next decade, the evening course in psychology.

“This moment is so acute that we are living, of circumstances so unprecedented that they are plaguing us, where the public university is being attacked, where scientific knowledge is being vilified, where democratic exercise is at risk and even our dear Fapesp has suffered problems in relation to the cut of funds, our mission is somehow called in a deeper way to imperatively cultivate coexistence on the border of our singularities ”, said the director of IP, Ana Maria Loffredo, at the book launch event commemorating the institution’s 50th anniversary.

Living memories
The speeches at the launch event did not hide: much of the content of the memoir remains framed in the memories of teachers, staff and students who graduated from the course. But there are also facts that needed to be collected and systematized, as recalled student Bruna de Oliveira Amaral, representative of the Graduation Committee and vice president of the athletic association of IP students.

“Nowadays, for us to know what has been done, we have a very individual harvest, by a professor in the department,” said Bruna, co-author of the chapter on culture and extension initiatives, offering thanks to Islaine Maciel, professional of IP communication, for the work of searching for this information.

“One of my learnings from this book experience is, in reality, a desire that in the next 50 years we will be able to develop ways to access all of our productions, with regard to extension, and make it everyday”, completes the student.

This effort to systematize information and collective work was conceived and carried out during the pandemic, in social isolation. Therefore, I could not fail to pay tribute to a member of the IP team who died in June, victim of the covid-19. Édila Aparecida da Silva worked for 23 years in laboratories and in the former vivarium of the Department of Experimental Psychology. Édila took care of the animals and supported the researchers in their experiments. In May, she was admitted to a field hospital in São Paulo with a worrying health condition.

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