LAS 370 Brazil's Racial Paradise: Myth or Reality

This is an on-site course; students will be working to answer the underlying question: How does race impact Brazilian society?  The students will compare the official narrative on race that claims the country has a “racial democracy” with the realities of racial inequity present in Brazilian society. They will learn about historical events ranging from the first encounter of Portuguese explorers with the indigenous Tupinambá people, the mass uprooting of African peoples and the implementation of an economic system based on slavery which lasted until 1889, the formation of urban centers along the coast, the influx of migrants in the early 20th century, to the more contemporary issues of social inequality and political crises. Students will be able to complement their ongoing experiences in Brazil with a variety of cultural production (short stories, poems, movies, and selections of master works) and articles that will be discussed in daily meetings and throughout our guided visits.