Course Description

Course Name

Race, Ethnicity and Society in Brazil

Session: VFPU1120

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Ethnicity and Society in the History and Culture of Brazil
Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina UNISUL
The course is offered in English.
54 hours
The course allows students from outside the ISA group to join the room.
There are no pre-requisites for the course.
The course introduces discussions about race, ethnicity and nationhood; Portuguese colonization, Brazilian Indigenous peoples and the transatlantic slavery system; projects of nation-building in the process of independence during the 19th century; images of Brazil in the early XX century; the politics of tutorship of Brazilian Indians and racial relations in Brazil; the democratic turn and multicultural politics in the late XX century; global reconfigurations of ethnicity and race in the XXI century.
A) Understanding the historical formation of the Brazilian nation;
B) Understanding key sociological-anthropological interpretations of Brazilian society and culture;
C) Learning about pressing issues in current Brazilian politics;
D) Acquiring a comparative perspective on the nexus between race, ethnicity, culture and nationhood on a global scale.
REQUIRED READINGS and/or TEXT(S). To be suggested along the lectures in order to reach the course aims. Articles, textbooks and different book chapters are provided to students as a rule.
The approval is conditioned to the performance expected in the following:
a) Final Exam 40%
b) Seminar presentations 25%;
c) Essay on Ethnographic Experience 25%
d) Participation in Class, Punctuality and Attendance 10%
To be approved, the student must have a minimum of 70% of improvement and a minimum of 75% attendance to the classes.
To be approved, the student must have a minimum of 70% of improvement and 75% of class frequency.
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.
When the student joins back his group, 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: Spring and Fall / Extensive -The students have the first week to attend all the classes they are already signed up in, and also the ones they might want to add. Then by the beginning of the second week of classes (Monday) they should have their final decision.
BARTH, Fredrik, ed. (1969) Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
BUARQUE DE HOLLANDA, Sérgio. (1995) Raízes do Brasil. 26 ed. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras
DA MATTA, Roberto (1996) O que faz o brasil, Brasil Rio: Rocco.
FREYRE, Gilberto (2006) Casa Grande e Senzala. 48 ed. São Paulo: Global Editora.
FRY, Peter (2000) ?Politics, Nationality and the Meanings of ?Race? in Brazil? Daedalus, vol. 129, No. 2, pp. 83-118.
LARAIA, Roque B. (2007) Cultura: um conceito antropológico. Rio: Zahar.
RIBEIRO, Darcy (2001) The Brazilian People: the formation and meaning of Brazil. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. 2. ed. São Paulo: Cia das Letras.
SKIDMORE, Thomas (1999) Brazil: five centuries of change. New York: Oxford University Press.
SODRE, Nelson Werneck (1979) Formação Histórica do Brasil. 10 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.
12.1 Complementary Bibliography
ANDREWS, George (1996) ?Brazilian Racial Democracy, 1900-90: An American Counterpoint.? Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 483-507
BRUBAKER, Rogers (2009) ?Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism?, Annual Review of Sociology, 35:21?42.
FRENCH, Jan (2004) ?Mestizaje and Law Making in Indigenous Identity Formation in Northeastern Brazil? American Anthropologist, Vol. 106, Issue 4, pp. 663?674.
HOOKER, Juliet (2005) ?Indigenous Inclusion/Black Exclusion: Race, Ethnicity and Multicultural Citizenship in Latin America? Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 285-310
LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude ([1956] 1996) Race, History and Culture, UNESCO Courier.
MAGGIE, Yvonne (2008) ?Does Mario de Andrade Live On? Debating the Brazilian Modernist Ideological Repertory.? Vibrant v.5 n.1 p. 34 ? 64.
RAMOS, Alcida (2008) ?Neither Here nor There: On the Ambiguity of Being Indian in Brazil?, Vibrant v.5 n.1 p. 7-19

*Course content subject to change