Brazilian Society and Civilization


This course introduces students to Brazilian civilization by examining its historical development and by exploring various cultural elements.

This course introduces students to crucial intellectual and cultural trajectories traversing fields such as gender, race, sexuality, religion, media, technology, aesthetics, politics and popular cultures in modern and contemporary Brazil.

Historical periods will be presented in connection to a particular theme of ongoing cultural expressions. Diverse elements of popular culture are included in order to grasp a wide understanding of Brazilian underpinning historical moments. Students are expected to assimilate the background information but are also encouraged to develop their own perspective and interests, whether in the social sciences, arts, gender and sexuality or other areas of knowledge.

Students will actively approach Brazilian history and produce analytical and critical approaches to understand and account for the intricacies underlying the dynamic development of Brazilian civilization to the contemporary moment. Class discussions about historical elements, the intellectual and cultural trajectories, and the topics covered in the syllabus will function as platforms from which to pose questions, develop research interests and skills, enabling students to explore further aspects of Brazilian culture and civilization.

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Basic Bibliography for research:

Fausto, Boris. A Concise History of Brazil. Cambridge University Press.

Burns, Bradford. A Documentary History of Brazil. New York: Knopf, 1966.

Schwartz, Stuart B. Early Brazil: A Documentary Collection to 1700. Cambridge University Press, 2010.