Brazil has been the “country of the future” longer than it has been an independent nation. Soon after Europeans descended on its shores, Brazil was hailed as a land of resources so rich and diverse that they would inevitably produce great wealth and global power for its inhabitants. Although this has often contributed to an exaggerated patriotism, it has also fostered ambiguity-for if the label suggests Brazil’s potential, it also underlines the country’s failure to live up to that promise. This course will examine Brazil’s modern history by taking up major themes from Independence to the present. Beginning with a “bloodless” independence that sparked massive civil wars, we will analyze the hierarchies that have characterized Brazilian society. The course will give particular attention to themes of race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship; national culture and modernity; and democracy and authoritarianism in social and political relations.
Format: lecture; discussion
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
class participation will count for 20% of final grade; each of two 5-page papers will count for 25%; and a final 8- to 10-page paper will count for 30%
none; open to first-year students with instructors permission
History majors, Latino/a Studies concentrators
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
The course--in all of its readings, discussion, papers--centers on the formation of different and dynamic identities in 19th- and 20th-century Brazil. Throughout the semester we examine how Brazilians created, recreated, and/or rejected categories of difference and how these resulting actions connected to broad political and cultural changes. Links to current questions--like the struggles of communities of quilombolas (descendants of runaway or freed slaves)--receive particular attention.
GBST Latin American Studies Electives
HIST Group D Electives - Latin America + Caribbean
LATS Countries of Origin + Transnationalism Elect