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PG4: Lusophone Culture, History and Politics

Iracema

Image above: Romantic/ Indianist painting 'Iracema' by Brazilian artist José Maria de Medeiros (1881)

 

This paper is available for the academic year 2020-21.

PG4 offers a study of Lusophone culture from the colonial period to the present day. The paper is organised into 4 thematic unites that situate a range of cultural production -literature, cinema, visual culture (paintings, photography) and music – within socially and political situated theoretical and critical debates, ranging from imperialism to democracy. The paper will allow students to develop a knowledge of major movements, artists and texts in Lusophone culture, while considering how art and culture critical articulates and responds to certain historical and political moments. The paper’s critical component is emphasized in 4 seminars in which students will be required to engage with key theoretical texts and debates, from literary studies, cultural studies and film studies.

Topics: 

The 4 Thematic Units are:

  1. Imperial Imaginaries
  2. New National Foundations
  3. Culture and Underdevelopment
  4. From Dictatorship to Democracy

Themes and texts taught in Michaelmas Term:

 

Imperial Imaginaries

Luis de Camões, Os Lusíadas (1572)

Pero Magalhães Gândavo, História da Província de Sancta Cruz (1576)

Fernão Cardim, Tratados da Terra e da Gente do Brasil (1583)

 

Seminar readings

Stephen Greenblatt, Marvellous Possessions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991) especially chapter 2, “Marvellous Possessions.”

Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage, 1993), chap. 1 – “Empire, Geography, and Culture” 

J.H. Elliott, Spain, Spain, Europe and the Wider World, 1500-1800 (New Haven/London: Yale UP, 2009), chap. 1 – “A Europe of Composite Monarchies” and chap. 6 – “A Seizure of Overseas Territories by the European Powers”.

Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (Cambridge: CUP, 1982), especially chap. 1 – “The problem of Recognition”

 

New National Foundations

Maria Firmino dos Reis, A escrava, 1887 and Hino da libertação dos escravos, 1888.

Aluísio de Azevedo, O cortiço (1890)

Machado de Assis, Dom Casmurro (1900)

Lima Barreto, Triste fim de Policarpo Quaresma (1915)

 

Seminar Readings

Nicolau Sevcenko, Literatura como missão (Rio de Janeiro: Companhia das letras, 2003), Introductory chapter

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London: Verso, 1991), especially Introduction and Chapter 1, “Cultural Roots”

Angel Rama, The Lettered City (Duke UP), Chapter 1, The Ordered City, and Chapter 2, The City of Letters

Roberto Schwarz, “As idéias fora do lugar” (English Translation by John Gledson, “Misplaced Ideas’ In Mispaced Ideas, London: Verso 1991)

 

Themes and texts taught in Lent Term:

 

 

Hybrid Modernities

Mário de Andrade, Macunaíma (1928)

Carolina Maria de Jesus, Quarto de despejo (195?

Glauber Rocha, Barravento and Deus e o diabo na terra do sol

Mia Couto, Terra sonámbula (1992)

 

Seminar Readings

Antônio Candido, “Literatura e subdesenvolvimento” (English Translation “Literature and Underdevelopment” in On Literature and Society (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995)

Antônio Candido, “A dialética da malandragem” (English Translation “Dialectic of Malandroism” in On Literature and Society (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995)

Jean Franco, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City (Harvard University Press, 2002), Chapter 8, “The Seduction of the Margins”

Various Film Manifestos

 

From Dictatorship to Democracy

Lygia Fagundes Telles, As meninas (1973)

Tropicalia (selection of Music and also art installations)

Arnaldo Jabor, Toda nudez será castigada (1975)

João Gilberto Noll, Hotel Atlantico (1986)

 

Seminar Readings

Roberto Schwarz, “Culture and Politics in Brazil, 1964-1968” in (London: Verso, 1992)

Marilena Chauí, “Popular Culture and Authoritarianism” in Between Conformity and Resistance (New York, Palgrave, 2011)

Idelber Avelar, “The Genealogy of Defeat” in The Untimely Present (Duke UP, 1999)

Rebecca Atencio, “Memory’s Turn,” Hispanic American Historical Review 97 (2): 372-402.

 

Preparatory reading: 

 

Imperial Imaginaries

Luis de Camões, Os Lusíadas (1572)

Pero Magalhães Gândavo, História da Província de Sancta Cruz (1576)

Fernão Cardim, Tratados da Terra e da Gente do Brasil (1583)
 

 

Hybrid Modernities

Mário de Andrade, Macunaíma (1928)

Carolina Maria de Jesus, Quarto de despejo (195?

Glauber Rocha, Barravento and Deus e o diabo na terra do sol

Mia Couto, Terra sonámbula (1992)

 

New National Foundations

Aluísio de Azevedo, O cortiço (1890)

Urban Chronicles (selected essays by João do Rio and Olavo Bilac and photographs by Augusto Malta and Gilberto Ferrez on moodle – we shall also explore architecture and urban planning)

Machado de Assis, Dom Casmurro (1900)

Lima Barreto, Triste fim de Policarpo Quaresma (1915)

 

From Dictatorship to Democracy

Lygia Fagundes Telles, As meninas (1973)

Tropicalia (selection of Music and also art installations)

Arnaldo Jabor, Toda nudez será castigada (1975)

João Gilberto Noll, Hotel Atlantico (1986)

Teaching and learning: 

Teaching is provided through 16 lectures (4 hours on each topic) and four seminars (1 for each topic). Students receive 3  supervisions per term (plus revision support in Easter term). You are expected to attend all classes for the paper.

Please see Pg.4's Moodle page.

Assessment: 

Assessment is by 3-hour examination in which candidates answer three questions, in each response making reference to at least two texts, films or artists. PG4 is also available as an OD.

This paper is also available for examination by Long Essay in Part IB.

Course Contacts: 
Dr Maite Conde (paper co-ordinator in Michaelmas 2018)