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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ileana M. Rodriguez Silva
HSTAA 482
Seattle Campus

The History of Brazil: Colonial Period to the Present

Colonial foundations; the first and second empires; the old and new republics; current problems; prospects for the future.

Class description

The goal of this course is to explore from various different standpoints the multiple struggles that have and continue shaping the peoples and communities inhabiting the Brazilian landscapes. We also seek to investigate the varied roles of Portuguese-America/Brazil in historical global formations (through their participation in the Atlantic slave trade, plantation production, imperial expansion, nation formation and export economies, and neoliberal politics) and how these multidirectional exchanges (with Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, the U.S.) have shaped the colonial, imperial, and national projects in Brazil. The course focuses on different historical moments such as the early colonization and development of the sugar economy; the conquest of the frontier and the mining of gold; the independence from Portugal and coffee boom; the export economy and the urbanization of coastal cities; the creation of the Estado Novo and the preeminence of populist politics; the military regime; and the effects and challenges in facing a Neo-liberal economic global regime. While I use political and/or economic shifts as markers, the course seeks to uncover the intricacies of elite and popular political cultures and the competing understandings of gender, class, and race organizing social relations and shaping subject formations.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion of assigned readings and films

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Exams, short writing assignments, go-posts, and class participation


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ileana M. Rodriguez Silva
Date: 02/11/2011