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Becoming Brazil

Drawing from history, anthropology, literature, and the arts, this seminar explores how Brazil’s becomings have been historically represented, both nationally and internationally, and the ways in which its peoples have evolved within or escaped and recast the frames of this imagined country.

Becoming Brazil
June 17 – July 26, 2019
Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro

João Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology
Pedro Meira Monteiro, Arthur W. Marks ‘19 Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Capturing the world’s attention for over five centuries of colonialism and modernization, Brazil has offered natural resources for extraction and diverse social and political realities for the imagination of travelers and the work of scientists, academics, and artists alike.

Drawing from history, anthropology, literature, and the arts, this seminar explores how Brazil’s becomings have been historically represented, both nationally and internationally, and the ways in which its peoples have evolved within or escaped and recast the frames of this imagined country.

Working with multiple media, students will discuss the making of a “Brazilian culture” via music, sports, modernist art, and architecture, as well as the engineering of “economic miracles” and the articulation of insurgent forms of citizenship. The seminar will conclude with ethnographic reflections on how peoples are confronting today’s widespread precarity and how radical ideas of futurity are being articulated in the country’s peripheries.

Students will visit cultural and historical sites and engage with local intellectuals, artists, and activists as well as Brazilian students. During field trips to the megacity of São Paulo and to the colonial town of Paraty and the Atlantic Forest, students will be introduced to new forms of social mobilization and environmental politics. The seminar will include classes in Portuguese language at various levels. It will culminate in the production of multimedia and artistic projects. 

This seminar fulfills the social analysis (SA) general education requirement.

“Becoming Brazil” is a Brazil LAB (Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies) initiative.

Course Fee: $7,000

Includes all housing, required course excursions, related academic expenses, visas, meals, required yellow fever vaccination and estimated airfare ($1,400). World Travel, the University travel agency, will book all participants’ flights. Details on the required booking process will be provided by seminar administrators.

All participants should budget an additional $1,000 for personal expenses and be prepared to cover costs of required and routine immunizations (estimated $200) as recommended by University Health Services. The immunization costs are covered in full for students enrolled in the University’s Student Health Plan. For students covered by families’ health insurance or other insurance plans, the associated costs will vary. International phone plans are highly recommended for all students.

Financial Aid

Students accepted into a Global Seminar and receive term financial aid automatically receive funding toward the course fee and personal meals based on the level of term aid. Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Princeton subsidized Student Loans, available from the Office of Financial Aid, are also highly recommended. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

To ensure a place in the seminar, a $500 nonrefundable deposit will be charged to participants’ accounts on March 1. The balance of the course fee will be charged to accounts on May 1.

Students who accept a place in a Global Seminar and then, before the seminar begins, withdraw or cannot participate because they are no longer enrolled at Princeton will lose the nonrefundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs. There are no refunds after the start of the program.

PIIRS Global Seminars are also made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.