Uma crítica ao essencialismo identitário: a historiografia da mineiridade na primeira metade do século XX

The search for an especific identity was certainly one of the most discussed topics by historiography relating to Minas Gerais. This article seeks to critically evaluate this long debate, focusing on the historiographical works produced during the first half of the twentieth century. These texts understood "mineiridade" as a fixed “essence”, objective, definitive, common to all mineiros, a conception of identity not open for changes and differences. This article proposes a “non-essentialist” reading of these interpretations, understanding cultural identity as a process in permanent construction. This critical exercise should assist in discussion of possible ways to build a more open, democratic and inclusive public space in Minas Gerais.