Brazil is the country with the largest population of people of African descent outside of the African continent. However, with its history of race mixture under colonialism and slavery, many have imagined Brazil as a racial paradise such that race minimally influences one's social, political, or economic quality of life. The main focus of this course will be to understand from an interdisciplinary approach, first, the historical and sociocultural conditions of the African diaspora in Brazil. Second, we will focus on how national ideologies of racial mixture employ a rhetoric of inclusion that incorporates selective aspects of black culture into Brazilian national identity while excluding black people from the protections and pleasures of full citizenship. Beginning with the experiences of enslaved Africans, we will engage how Afro-Brazilians have developed ideas and spaces of freedom and belonging through social movements, religion, the arts, and resistance well into the black consciousness movements of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the course, we will collaboratively read, view, and listen to a variety of primary and secondary sources in order to analyze and write about blackness and the lives of black people in Brazil across history, intersecting, most predominantly, with the social structures of gender, sexuality, class, and religion.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC; EN H