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 Courses & Syllabi

Fall 2011 Courses

POR 581/681, Amorous Discourse in Brazilian Popular Music (3 credits)

Professor Dário Borim

Tue 3:30-6:00 pm

This course will examine the serious and the humorous output of romantic or pseudo-romantic poetics in the songwriting of five writers from four of the most productive and sophisticated decades in Brazilian music ever: the 1960s-90s. Examining their work in light of various trends in the aesthetics and ideologies of modernist schools, such as Dadaism, Cubism, and Futurism, we will also interpret those songwriters—Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Gilberto Gil, Suely Mesquita, Rita Lee, and Caetano Veloso—within the socio-political context of their lives and creative processes.


POR 620/720, Seminar in Portuguese Literature and Culture: Gender and Sexuality in the Portuguese Literary Canon (3 credits)

Professor Anna Klobucka

Thu 3:30-6:00 pm

This seminar offers a rereading of canonical Portuguese texts from the Middle Ages to the present from a perspective centered on literary representation and construction of gender and sexuality. We will read selections from Galician-Portuguese lyric, plays by Gil Vicente, Bernardim Ribeiro’s Menina e moça, Camões’s Os Lusíadas, Carta de guia de casados by D. Francisco Manuel de Melo, Almeida Garrett’s Viagens na minha terra, A Ilustre Casa de Ramires by Eça de Queirós, Mário de Sá-Carneiro’s A Confissão de Lúcio, poetry by Florbela Espanca, Judith Teixeira, and António Botto, Novas Cartas Portuguesas by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta, and Maria Velho da Costa, António Lobo Antunes’s Os Cus de Judas, and Lídia Jorge’s A Costa dos Murmúrios. Theoretical and critical readings include key texts by Gayle Rubin, Michel Foucault, Teresa De Lauretis, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Judith Butler, along with a selection of pertinent critical interpretations of each of the literary works under discussion.


POR 650/750, Comparative Studies of the Portuguese-Speaking World: Luso-Asian Fictions (3 credits)

Professor Christopher Larkosh

Wed 3:30-6:00 pm

This advanced graduate seminar in Portuguese focuses upon the cultures of Asia as seen through literature and film, whether in Portuguese or translated in and out of other languages. How do representations of Asia change in literary works as Portugal attempts to reinvent its relationship with areas formerly under its colonial control? Beginning with classics of Portuguese literature that point toward the ambivalent nature of the colonial enterprise (Camões, Mendes Pinto, Bocage, Pessanha, de Moraes), we will continue on to more recent literary works and films on Goa, Macau, East Timor and other parts of Asia (Ondina Braga, Devi, da Conceição, Tabucchi, Agualusa, Cardoso and others), both to interrogate any lingering traces of colonial nostalgia as well as to imagine new possibilities for communication between the Lusophone world and Asia. The course also provides a grounding in relevant works of literary and cultural theory (Barthes, Said, Bhabha, Spivak, Gilroy, Vale de Almeida).


Spring 2012 Courses

POR 522, Introduction to Portuguese Linguistics (3 credits)

Professor Gláucia Silva

Tue 3:30-6:00 pm

This course is an introduction to the study of linguistics as it applies to the Portuguese language. The main goal of the course is to describe and explain certain features (phonological, syntactic, morphological) of the Portuguese language. We will also consider aspects of the interaction between language and society. Class time will be divided between lecture and group work. This course is intended to speakers and advanced learners of Portuguese and will facilitate the understanding (and the teaching) of language mechanisms. Portuguese is the primary language of instruction and discussion.


POR 620/720, Seminar in Portuguese Literature and Culture; topic: Revisiting Portuguese Literature through Fernando Pessoa (3 credits)

Professor Victor Mendes

Wed 3:30-6:00 pm

This seminar focuses on Portuguese (and some non-Portuguese) literature as represented in the work of the Fernando Pessoa. How can we describe his specific responses to the Portuguese and Western literary traditions? How did Pessoa respond to Camões, Vieira, Cesário, Pessanha, Shakespeare, Keats, Nietzsche, and to his contemporaries Sá-Carneiro and Botto? Were Pessoa’s interpretations of tradition misreadings? Is there a successor of Pessoa? Amongst the main texts to be analyzed are Pessoa’s prose works, including his Livro do Desassossego (ed. Richard Zenith). The approach to this and other works will be informed by the study of our contemporary schools of thought and analysis in the humanities from POR 610/710. The main item of student evaluation will be the term paper (25 pages for the PhD level; 20 pages for the MA level).


POR 650/750, Comparative Studies in the Portuguese-Speaking World; topic: South Atlantic Culture and History (3 credits)

Professor Luiz Felipe Alencastro

Mon 3:30-6 pm

This is a survey course on South Atlantic culture and history from the 16th to the 21th century. Topics will focus on the differences and similarities in North Atlantic and South Atlantic history, societies, and cultures; the connections linking Brazil to Angola, Senegambia, the gulf of Guinea, Mozambique and Buenos Aires; the Luso-Brazilian slave trade and the transformation of the Brazilian territory, culture and society in the 18th century; the Indian policy, literature and ideology in Brazil in 18th and 19th century; comparison between the slavery in Brazil, Cuba and the United States in 19th century; the colonial question in Portugal and Angola and the political and cultural controversies on slavery, Afro-Brazilians and European and Asian immigration in Brazil during the 19th and 20th centuries (discussion on the writings of Gonçalves Dias, Gonçalves de Magalhães, Alexandre Herculano e Oliveira Martins); the Portuguese colonial policy, Luso-tropicalism and the Brazilian diplomacy after the Second World War; the relationship between Brazil and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa after 1974; the presence of Brazilians in independent Angola and Mozambique; the Afro-Brazilian and Amerindian population, quotas and affirmative action in present-day Brazil. We will discuss Portuguese, Brazilian and Angolan historiography and literary works and movies pertaining to these subjects (for instance, Carlos Diegues’ “Ganga Zumba”, 1963, or/and “Quilombo”, 1984, and Manoel de Oliveira’s “Non, ou a vã glória de mandar”, 1990, and/or “Palavra e Utopia”, 2000).

 Course information and syllabi from previous semesters available online (under construction):