Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Sonia Roncador

Associate ProfessorPh. D., New York University

Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese; Faculty Chair, Brazil Center Faculty Committee
Sonia Roncador



Lusophone literatures and culture; gender and race; questions of servitude, domesticity, and women's education; Brazilian and transatlantic cultural studies


LAS 392P • Luso Migrations

39705 • Fall 2015
Meets TH 500pm-800pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as ILA 388)


One way of assessing postcolonial pacts of political and cultural alliances—or rather conflicts—among the Portuguese-speaking countries and regional enclaves involves the study of the manifold paths and modes of human mobility within the transnational lusophone zone. The seminar Luso Migrations: Brazil, Portugal and Lusophone Africa proposes to explore contemporary cultural expressions (namely, fiction, memoirs, travelogues and films) emerging from or about diasporic subjects in Brazil, Portugal and relevant parts of Africa, especially Angola and Cape Verde. Drawing from Rosi Braidotti’s notion of “nomadic subjectivity,” the course engages with immigration narratives, from early twentieth century to the present, in order to explore the evolution of cultural constructions of sameness and difference between Portugal and its former colonies, as well as within these nations. In this last regard, special emphasis will be placed on the subalternization of Portugal-born immigrants in Brazil, Angola and Cape Verde, as well as the “Portuguese-becoming-minority” (Braidotti) phenomenon in contemporary multi-ethnic urban Portugal.

Given the specific contexts of emergence of luso-diasporas in these countries, the seminar is organized around the following historic events: (a) the Great Immigration era in Brazil (1880s-1920s) and its centrality in intellectual debates on the national “racial stock” and European acclimatization in the tropics; (b) the luso-tropicalist ideologies framing Brazil and Portugal’s foreign policies and their repercussions in colonized Africa (1920s-1950s); (c) the African Decolonization period (1950s-1980s) and Brazil’s strategized “racial democracy” policy for the sake of self-promotion as an emerging world power; and, finally, (d) the contemporary Globalization age (1980s-present) marked by Portugal’s contradictory membership in the European Union and rhetoric of brotherhood/lusofonia in relation to other lusophone nations and regions. In sum, the seminar examines the mutual reliance among Portuguese-speaking nations in building imaginaries of nationhood and “national race.” Additionally, the course explores Portugal’s contemporary refashioning as a member of the European Union, and its former colonies’—especially Brazil’s—new international prominence and shifting alliances.


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.

Primary Readings (preliminary):

João do Rio. Vida vertiginosa (1911)

Ferreira de Castro. Os emigrantes (1928)

Adonias Filho. Luanda Beira Bahia (1971)

Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas. Terra Estrangeira (1996; film)

José Eduardo Agualusa. Nação Crioula (1997)

Sergio Trefaut. Lisboetas (2004;film)

Germano Almeida. Eva (2006)

Luiz Ruffato. Estive em Lisboa e lembrei de você (2010)

José Miguel Ribeiro. Viagem a Cabo Verde (film)

Secondary Readings (preliminary):

Rosi Braidotti. Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

Antonio Sergio A. Guimarães. “Democracia Racial: o ideal, o pacto e o mito.” Novos Estudos 61 (2011).

Jerry Dávila. Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization, 1950-1980. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010.

Bela Feldman-Bianco (org.). Nações e diásporas: estudos comparativos entre Brasil e Portugal. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp, 2010.

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

Sara Ahmed et al. Uprrotings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2003.

Sara Ahmed. Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality. London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

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

Boaventura de Sousa Santos. Pela mão de Alice: o social e o politico na pós-modernidade. Porto: Edições Afrontamento, 1994.

Gladys Sabina Ribeiro. Mata Galegos: Os Portugueses e os conflitos de trabalho na República Velha. São Paulo: Editora Brasiliense, 1990.

Erving Goffman. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1963.

Gilberto Freyre. O mundo que o Português criou: aspectos das relações sociaes e de cultura do Brasil com Portugal e as colônias portuguesas. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio: 1940; Alfredo Cesar Melo. “Hibridismo (in)domáveis: possíveis contribuições da obra de Gilberto Freyre para uma teoria pós-colonial lusófona.” Luso-Brazilian Review 51.1 (2014): 68-92.

LAS 370P • Gend/Sexlty/Labr Brazil Cul

39715 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ 1.122
(also listed as POR 375)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the vast spectrum of working women characters in Brazilian literature and film (namely, maids, prostitutes, teachers, factory workers, street vendors, as well as unpaid housewives), in order to examine the roles of race and gender in shaping the repertoire of stereotypes surrounding women’s labor in modern Brazil.

LAS 392P • Immig & Transnatlsm Brazil Cul

40485 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as POR 381)

COURSE TITLE: Immigration and Transnationalism in Brazilian Culture (COMPARATIVE COURSE)


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.”


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.


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.

LAS 370P • Color Of Progress

40610 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A205A
(also listed as POR 375)


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)



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.



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%).


LAS 392P • Servitude In Lat Amer Lit/Cul

40390 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BEN 1.118
(also listed as POR 381)

TTh 2:00-3:30 PM

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


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.


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%).


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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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
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