ARTH 408
Modernism in Brazil Fall 2018
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ARTH 408 / COMP 408
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“Modernism” in art: when we think about it, we may not readily think of Brazil. But Brazil was in fact a vibrant battleground of ideas around what it was to be innovative, modern, and avant-garde. Between 1920 and 1945, artists, poets, and critics in the metropolises of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro actively debated on the creation, and potential, of a uniquely Brazilian modernist aesthetic that would stand on par with the European avant-gardes. But what did “Brazilianness” mean to these intellectuals? What role did gender and race relations–indigeneity in particular–play in the construction of this aesthetic? How did the necessities and demands of the national context shape these modernist practices? This seminar will take a deep dive in this fascinatingly contradictory moment in Brazil, a chapter that would become a fundamental reference to Brazilian artists in the 1960s and even to this day. In addition to detailed analyses of artworks, we will read manifestos, novels, and criticism from this period, and the most up to date secondary interpretive texts.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 8
Class#: 1037
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: participation, short presentations, four 2-page writing assignments, final 12-page research paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: DPE: As a DPE course, we will tackle Modernism in Brazil as a rich, comparative case study in the field of "global modernisms," so as to productively complicate canonical histories of Western art. Moreover, this course fulfills DPE requirements through textual, visual, and historical analyses that explore the cultural biases and geopolitical forces that have restricted the exposure of Brazilian modernism in Western art history. The course also centers on contextualizing the artistic practices of Brazilian modernism and analyzing them in relation to race, gender, and class dynamics, and to issues of colonialism, nationalism, and revolutionary politics.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 408 Division I COMP 408 Division I

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