Becoming Brazil

Time after time, Brazil has been hailed “a land of the future.” Capturing the world’s attention for over five centuries of colonialism and modernization, Brazil has offered rich natural resources for extraction and diverse social and political realities for the imagination of travelers and the work of scientists, academics and artists alike. 

Drawing from history, anthropology, literature and the arts, this Global Seminar explores how Brazil’s becomings have been historically represented, both nationally and internationally, and the ways in which its peoples have evolved within or escaped and recast the frames of this imagined country. 

Working with multiple media, we will discuss the making of a ‘Brazilian culture’ via music, sports, modernist art and architecture as well as the engineering of ‘economic miracles’ and the articulation of insurgent forms of citizenship. The Seminar will conclude with ethnographic reflections on how peoples are confronting today’s widespread precarity and how radical ideas of futurity are being articulated in the country’s peripheries. 

The Seminar is a Brazil LAB (Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies) initiative and it will be based at the Moreira Salles Institute in Rio de Janeiro. Students will visit cultural and historical sites and engage with local intellectuals, artists, and activists as well as Brazilian students. During field trips to the megacity of São Paulo and to colonial town of Paraty and the Atlantic Forest , students will be introduced to new forms of social mobilization and environmental politics. The Seminar will include classes of Portuguese at various levels and will culminate in the production of multimedia and artistic projects.

For more information, please contact Carole Dopp at [email protected] or 609-258-5978.

Global Seminar 2019 cohort and instructors

Becoming Brazil Global Seminar cohort and teaching team visiting Quilombo do Campinho, Paraty, Rio de Janeiro. July, 2019.


Instituto Moreira Salles (Rio de Janeiro), by Robert Polidori (Acervo IMS)

Instituto Moreira Salles (Casa da Gávea), Rio de Janeiro