Portuguese American Journal

Summer Program in Portuguese – UMD

The Summer Program in Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth will offer three intensive undergraduate and graduate-level courses that highlight Brazil’s growing cultural, political and economic importance to the region’s cultural landscape.

Brazilian literature Prof. Aileen El-Kadi from the University of Texas El Paso will teach this year’s advanced seminar on Special Topics in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies and Theory (POR 481/POR 581/POR 681/ POR 781). The topic is Urban Violence in Contemporary Brazilian Literature and Culture. This course brings together recent literary and cinematic works from an emerging generation of novelists and film directors to examine this persistent social problem from a new perspective.

UMD Political Science Prof. Matthew Ingram will teach an undergraduate course in Brazilian Politics (PSC 390). It will focus on the political situation over the last 50 years, including the events leading up to the coup of 1964, the military regime from 1964-1985, and the transition to democracy from the 1970s and 80s up to the present day. Through readings, lectures, and discussions, students will gain greater knowledge of Brazil’s political institutions, important historical events and figures, economic policies, civil society and social movements, and justice system.

In addition, the Summer Program will offer an introductory survey course on Brazilian literature and culture (POR 215/ENL 200) that will cover works from major cultural movements from the early 20th century to the present day. This course will combine literature with film and popular music, as well as other important cultural elements such as capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance form.

Portuguese language classes (POR 103/203/308) will introduce students to both Brazilian and European variants. Brazilian cultural activities—from concerts and culinary events to visits to nearby points of cultural interest—will again be part of the UMass Dartmouth summer experience. All of the above courses carry three semester units of undergraduate or graduate credit.

Brazil is the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking country and the fifth-largest country in size and population, poised to become the fifth-largest economy in the coming years. It is a vibrant democracy with a diverse population and culture, as well as one that faces numerous political, societal and environmental challenges.

Southeastern New England is home to one of the largest Brazilian migrant populations in North America, with restaurants and markets in Brazilian neighborhoods, and thus offers numerous opportunities to speak Portuguese with native speakers in a culturally diverse environment.