Course Description

Course Name

Brazilian Urban Landscapes in Santa Catarina, Brasilia and Beyond

Session: VFPS1120

Hours & Credits

54 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level


General Course Description

This course offers an introductory survey of the art of modern Latin America from the first wave of independence in early nineteenth century to the present day. Through the study of key artists, movements, and works of art, the course will explore: the formation of collective identities in these new nations, the impact of revolution, dictatorship, and political violence on the development of art in the region, the incorporation of both foreign styles and indigenous traditions, and the shifting definitions of Latin American art. Special emphasis will be placed on developing the skills needed to analyze a wide variety of modern and contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, and site-specific installations.

This course also aims to equip students with the basic skills and knowledge required to analyze architecture and the urban environment. It offers an introduction to the methods and procedures of the architectural historian. These include practical tasks such as understanding architectural terminology, reading and interpreting architectural drawings, engaging with buildings ‘on site’, and studying buildings in context through urban design issues, such as street networks and public spaces. At a broader level, the course will involve critical discussions about the relationship between architecture and society, the building as a historical object, cultural representations of architecture, and modes of perceiving/experiencing the built environment. The course will operate through a combination of in-class seminars and site visits to buildings in Florianopolis.

Beginning with the 1959 publication of the “Neo-Concrete Manifesto” in Rio de Janeiro, this course traces the radical transformations of art objects and artistic practices in South America (especially Brazil) over the course of the 1960s. These developments will be read against social and political changes in the region, including the impasse of mid-century modernization efforts and the rise of repressive dictatorships.

The course asks two questions: (1) how individuals use public monuments and performance to choreograph the urban environment (2) how the creation of historical narratives and cultural exchange impact the practices of daily life in an ancient and modern city. The tension between antiquity and modernity, global and local identities, colonialism and resistance, and the relationship between art and community formation will be major themes.

Course Objectives

  • The students will acquire basic philosophical, historical and aesthetic concepts necessary to understand the History of Art as an academic discipline.
  • Distinguish and recognize artistic and architectural concepts in the Latin American history of art and architecture.
  • Analyze significant examples of art, architecture and urban development in Brazil
  • Identify and explain significant style forms typical to the continent
  • Evaluate specifics of  the Brazilian environment
  • Review the history of the prominent historical sights of Brazil in the Latin American context;

Attendance Policy

  • To be approved, the student must have a minimum of 70% of improvement and 75% of class attendance.
  • The student cannot be absent on up to 25% of classes. In case of injury or sickness the absence of the student will not count if he presents a medical certificate. In this context, the classroom assignments shall be sent via e-mail to him/her. When the student returns to class, the professor is instructed to pay extra attention to him/her in the process of catching up with the class.
  • Possibility of dropping or adding classes: Please note that courses are determined prior to the student's arrival on-site.

*Course content subject to change