LAS 371 Introduction to Brazilian Culture and History

This course offers an introduction to Brazilian culture as well as key historical and socio-political issues from the first encounter in 1500 until the present. We approach Brazil from a comparative perspective, making relevant connections to Spanish-speaking Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the US. Using an interdisciplinary lens, this course introduces a variety of scholarship from history, anthropology, cultural studies, journalism, music, film and literature. Thematic areas covered include: the roots of Brazil; national identity formation; class relations, the Amazon region, and the construction of race and ethnicity in Brazilian culture; comparative perspectives on race in Brazil, Spanish-Speaking America and the U.S.; modernity and modernization; and the struggles for democracy and socio-economic justice.