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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2007

POR 375 • Luso-Brazilian Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46710 TH
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Ben 1.104

Course Description

A common way for intellectuals and artists to approach the question of national identity in Brazil has been the association of the singularities of Brazilian society and civilization with race: sometimes emphasizing the indigenous "mark," other times stressing the Black-African influence on the formation of Brazilian culture. The fact is that from 19th century onward, or since Brazilian independence from Portugal, intellectuals have been devoted to the construction of a Brazilian "race" drawing upon--and sometimes resisting--European theories of race/mestiçagem. To examine the different meanings and values attributed by major Brazilian writers to the national "race" is one main purpose of this course

Others include an analysis of the images of slavery and slaves as found in 19th-century Brazilian abolitionist literature (namely, Castro Alves, Bernardo Guimarães, Maria Firmina dos Reis, Joaquim Manoel de Macedo) and travel narrative from the same period (Maria Graham, Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz); Indianism and Primitivism as leitmotifs in 19th century foundational narrative such as Jose de Alencar's Iracema, as well as in 20th century avant-garde fiction like Mario de Andrade's Macunaêma; fictional and self-representational literature by politically-engaged Afro-Brazilian authors (Lima Barreto, Abdias Nascimento, Marilene Felinto, Ferrez); the debate around a "Black aesthetics"; and finally, the representation of Afro-Brazilians in other media such as 19th century print journalism, contemporary theater and film, painting, and popular music (samba, hip-hop, funk).

Grading Policy

Class participation 10% Weekly written assignments 20% Four tests 40% 10 page final paper 30%


Course package with primary and secondary Readings (Gilberto Freyre, Nina Rodriguez, Lilia Schwarcz, Emilia Viotti da Costa, Celia Marinho de Azevedo, Nancy Stepan, Doris Sommer)


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