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

Sonia Roncador

Associate Professor Ph. D., New York University

Sonia Roncador

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Biography

Since completing my PhD in the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University in 1999, I have published three books: Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony in Brazil (1889-1999), (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), A doméstica imaginária: literatura, testemunhos, e a invenção da empregada doméstica no Brasil (1889-1999) (Editora Universidade de Brasília, 2008) and Poéticas do empobrecimento: a escrita derradeira de Clarice Lispector (Annablume, 2002). Additionally, my articles have appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals, such as Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, Afro-Hispanic Review, Luso-Brazilian Review, Ellipsis: Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Association and Revista de Letras. My current book project discusses the overlap of discourses on immigration and slavery and servitude in order to reveal the cross-currents of the Portuguese and African Diasporas in Brazil.

Interests

Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures; gender and race; questions of immigration, domestic servitude, and women’s education; Brazilian and Trans-Atlantic cultural studies.

ILA 388 • White Atlantic: Race In Brazil

46570 • Fall 2013
Meets M 500pm-800pm CLA 0.124
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Description:

Drawing from late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century fiction and travel writing, this course aims to examine symbolic strategies of conflating whiteness and hegemony in a country (Brazil) where mestiçagem has paved the way for elites to imagine a national race while securing their own social privileges and status. In addition to examining the cultural imaginary of mestiçagem in modern Brazil, the course also proposes to view the flux of immigration and immigrant representations that both challenged and reinforced white Brazilians’ symbolic superiority. Some topics of discussions in the course include: the notion of Brazilians’ inauthentic whiteness in European travelogues; the discourse of white degeneration and the emergence of the “Black Portuguese”; the role of the literary mammy in producing white mestiços; and the Transatlantic routes/roots of white slavery. By way of engaging with such topics, the course will ultimately help to familiarize students with Brazilian and US theories of race and immigration, in particular those that demonstrate the multifaceted nature of whiteness (as a socio-racial construct) and the system of social inequality it enforces.

Primary & Secondary Readings (preliminary): 

Charles Expilly. Mulheres e costumes do Brasil. Trad. Gastão Penalva. 2 ed. São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1977 (1863)

Louis Agassiz & Elizabeth Agassiz. Viagem ao Brasil. Trad. João Etienne Filho. Belo Horizonte: Itatiaia, 1975 (1868)

Bernardo Guimarães. A escrava Isaura. 11 ed. São Paulo: Ática, 1982 (1875)

Júlia Lopes de Almeida. Memórias de Marta: romance.  Florianópolis: Editora Mulheres, 2007 (1886)

Aluísio de Azevedo. O Cortiço. 13. ed. São Paulo: Ática, 1983 (1891)

João do Rio. As religiões do Rio. Rio de Janeiro: Jose Olymio, 2006 (1904)

Monteiro Lobato. O choque das raças; ou O presidente negro: romance Americano do anno de 2228. São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1926

José Lins do Rego. Menino de engenho: romance. 20 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Jose Olympio, 1974 (1932)

Stefan Zweig. Brasil, país do futuro. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Guanabara, 1941

Kabengelê Munanga. Rediscutindo a mestiçagem no Brasil: identidade nacional versus identidade negra. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes, 1999

Liv Sovik. Aqui ninguém é branco. Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano, 2009

Iray Carone & Maria Aparecida da Silva Bento (orgs). Psicologia social do racism: estudos sobre branquitude e branquamento no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Vozes, 2002

Ruth Frankenberg. Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997

Matt Wray. Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006

Grading:

Active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussions (20%); one oral report of the final paper proposal (20%); and a final research paper (60%). Instructor will use “plus” and “minus” grades for final course grades.

Classes will be taught in Portuguese. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is required but class participation and the final paper may be in Spanish or in English.

 

POR 381 • Immig & Transnatlsm Brazil Cul

45950 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 392P )
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COURSE TITLE: Immigration and Transnationalism in Brazilian Culture (COMPARATIVE COURSE)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The recent rise in Brazil's immigration rate pales in comparison to the flood of immigrants the country hosted from the aftermath of the legal suspension of the African slave traffic (1851) to the decades following the abolition of slavery (1888) through Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo (1937-45). Immigration and Transnationalism in Brazilian Culture will explore the impact of such an intense inflow of foreign migrants (mostly Europeans, but also Asians, Middle-Eastern, as well as US confederates) within the nationalist discourses of modernity, civilization and economic progress. Drawing from a number of nineteenth and twentieth-century travel narratives, novels, stories and journalistic chronicles, this seminar will examine the ambivalent status of immigrants as both model citizens and threats to the country’s idealized body politic. This seminar will also discuss (a) the influence of historical constructs of gender and race in literary representations of modes of displacement; (b) the intertwined notions of domesticity and nationality, including the literary plight of the female immigrant; and (c) the vicissitudes of constructions of whiteness in Brazil. Finally, because the seminar emphasizes Portuguese immigration to Brazil, in particular clandestine immigration, it also proposes to expand the debate on Luso-Brazilian transatlantic relations by introducing the controversial issue of so-called “white traffic.”

REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:

Your grade will be based on: active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussion (30%); one oral report of the final paper proposal (20%); and a final research paper (50%).

Classes will be taught in Portuguese. Reading knowledge of Portuguese is required but class participation and the final paper may be in Spanish or in English.

COURSE MATERIALS:

Primary Readings:

Francisco Manuel Raposo de Almeida. As folhas de um álbum. Santos, 1851.

Joaquim Baptista Moreira. A escravatura branca e o consul portuguez em Pernambuco. Lisboa: Typographia do Jornal do Commercio, 1854 (excerpts).

Iva von Binzer. Os meus romanos: alegrias e tristezas de uma educadora alemã no Brasil (1 ed. in Portuguese 1916).

Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço. São Paulo: Martins, 1973 (1 ed. 1891).

Graça Aranha. Canaã: romance. Rio de Janeiro: J. Aguilar, 1974 (1 ed. 1901).

Júlia Lopes de Almeida & Felinto de Almeida (A. Julinto, pseud.) A casa verde. São Paulo: Companhia Nacional, 1932 (first published as feuilleton 1898).

Antônio de Alcântara Machado. Novelas paulistanas: Brás, Bexiga, Barra Funda. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1971 (1 ed. 1927).

Mario de Andrade. Amar verbo intransitivo: idílio. São Paulo: Martins, 1976 (1 ed. 1927).

Secondary Readings:

Caren Kaplan. Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement. Durham, DC: Duke University Press, 1996.

Edward Said. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

Roberto Schwarz. “Nacional por subtração.” Que horas são? São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1987: 29-48

Jeffrey Lesser. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorites, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.

May Bletz. Immigration and Acculturation in Brazil and Argentina: 1890-1929.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Ademir P. Ferreira et al (org.). A experiência migrante: entre deslocamentos e reconstruções. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Garamond, 2010.

POR 327L • Brazilian Cul/Lit Of 19th Cen

46517 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BEN 1.124
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coming soon

POR 375 • Color Of Progress

46530 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A205A
(also listed as LAS 370P )
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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. The fact os 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 ( the tragic mulata; the loyal mammy and preto velho, the evil and the revolutionary slaves); Indianism and Primitivism as leitmotifs in 19th century foundational narrative as well in 20th century avant-grade fiction; fictional and self-representational literature by Afro-Brazilian authors; the debate around a “Black esthetics”; and finally, the representation of Afro- Brazilian in other media such as film, painting, television, and popular music (samba, hip-hop, funk)

 

Texts:

Xerox Packet (a selection of stories and critical essays made by the instructor); the course packet will include a variety of writers, namely Maria Firmina dos Reis, Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, Bernardo Guimarães, Lime Barreto, Jorge de Lima, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Paulo Lins, and Conceição Evaristo.

 

Grading:

Students must read all assigned texts in advance and should be able to answer the instructor’s questions on the content and significance of the works. Prior to each class period, two to three questions will be sent to the students (via Blackboard); students should type out their answers and be prepared to hand them in. Students will periodically get feedback both on the content of their analyses, and on the quality of their writing. Final grade will be based on: class participation (10%) and weekly written assignments (20%); four tests (40%); and one final exam (30%).

 

POR 381 • Servitude In Lat Amer Lit/Cul

45985 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as LAS 392P )
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TTh 2:00-3:30 PM

MEETS WITH: LAS 392P, 40390; WGS 393, 47320

DESCRIPTION: 

Despite a scholarly consensus about servants’ symbolic marginality or even invisibility within the context of Latin American fiction, this course proposes to examine several novels and testimonios from early 19th to late 20th century in order to demonstrate that maids have actually played central roles in the literary elaboration of distinctive transitional moments in which social class, gender and racial identities were redefined. One of the main topics that this course addresses is the ideological uses of the literary maid to account for her paradoxical centrality, as a legacy of colonialism, within post-independence nationalist novels. For instance, we will examine Latin American intellectuals’ reliance on the fictive maid as a utilitarian social and racial counterpoint to the ideal model of femaleness according to the bourgeois values of hygiene and altruism. In addition, this course proposes to analyze the relevance of the myths of the mammy and the cordial, sensual mulatta, usually personified as a maid, as figures of racial conciliation in avant-garde childhood memoirs. By drawing on contemporary testimonios as well as documentary-like films such as Brazilian Fernando Meirelles’s Doméstica: o filme and Argentine Jorge Gaggero’s Cama Adentro, finally, the course proposes narratives of servitude that challenge the hegemonic stereotyped representations of servants.

Classes will be taught in Portuguese. Reading knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish is required. Class participation and the final paper may be in Portuguese, Spanish or English.

REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING:

Your grade will be based on: active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussion (30%); three 2-3 pp. essays (30%); and a final research paper (40%).

TEXTBOOKS AND/OR CLASS MATERIALS:

Cecilia Valdés o la Loma del Angel (1839), by Cirilo Villaverde

La María (1867), by Jorge Isaacs

A Escrava Isaura (1875), by Bernardo Guimarães

A intrusa (1908), by Júlia Lopes de Almeida

Menino de engenho (1932), by José Lins do Rego

Litoral: reseña de una vida inutil (1949), by Luis Palés Matos

Balún Canán (1957), by Rosario Castellanos

A paixão Segundo G. H. (1964), by Clarice Lispector

Ai de vós: diário de uma domestica (1883), by Francisca Sousa da Silva

La luna era de queso: memorias de infancia (1988), by Jose Luis Gonzalez

Las criadas de Havana (2002), Pedro Pérez Sarduy

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