LACS 483 - Brazil: History and Culture
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS)
Department: LSA II: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

Brazil is a place of paradoxes and contrasts. The fifth most populous nation, it boasts one of the world's largest economies and an advanced industrial sector, but suffers income disparity and regional economic imbalances that are among the world's most dire. Its constitution guarantees social and economic justice and protects historically disenfranchised groups, but implementation and enforcement of the law is hobbled by special interests and police corruption. It celebrates its rich multi-ethnic cultural heritage, but remains stratified by perceived racial and regional differences.

In this course, we will examine the historical roots of these paradoxes, focusing particularly on cultural production and expression. Topics include:

  • indigenous societies and responses to European invasion;
  • slavery and paternalism;
  • religious expression; and
  • the ways that racial and ethnic identification has inspired much of Brazil’s unique cultural production, particularly in the areas of literature, dance, music and cinema.

Writing assignments:

  • A weekly short paper on the documents and the readings (1 p. posted on C-Tools by 5PM Sat.) : 25%
  • Participation in one group presentation of the film or the novel of the week: 25%
  • A final paper of 10 to 15 pages on a topic chosen with the Instructor: 50 %
Each student will freely choose in the syllabus one film and one novel to see and read out of the class and will briefly present and critique them at the end of his or her terminal paper (one page).

LACS 483 - Brazil: History and Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Please, select ONE of the three possible textbooks.
ISBN: 0195058100
Brazil : five centuries of change, Author: Thomas E. Skidmore., Publisher: Oxford University Press 1999
ISBN: 1403962553
The history of Brazil, Author: Robert M. Levine., Publisher: Palgrave 1. Palgrav 2003
ISBN: 052156526X
A concise history of Brazil, Author: Boris Fausto ; translated by Arthur Brakel., Publisher: Cambridge University Press 8. printin 1999
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