An Introduction to Brazil – no Portuguese required. (1 unit; P/NP)
This course uses movies, music, and a number of memorable stories by some of the most famous Brazilian authors to better understand the nation’s past and present. The goal is to look at both its pressing problems and overwhelming creativity and resilience. As one large chunk of Latin America, Brazil offers both comparisons and contrasts to other countries such as Mexico and neighboring Argentina. However, it is also part of the larger Portuguese-speaking world which includes not just Portugal but also African countries including Angola and Mozambique, as well as outposts in Asia. In addition, since Brazil is the size of the continental U.S., it also invites comparisons between how slavery played out in both and still affects continuing cultural and artistic forms. The primary requirement for the course is to attend the classes (attendance is required) and to do the preparation (readings, film viewing, etc.) that will allow students to interact with each other as well as to get a good initial overview of a vast and surprising country.