Hello, Hello Brazil! Popular Culture, Media, and the Making of a Nation


Our image of Brazil has been deeply shaped by its cultural production, from Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes' ever-popular "Girl from Ipanema" to the spectacular mega-production of Carnival in Rio and from the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira to the international stardom of pop artists like Anitta. This course is an introduction to popular culture in contemporary Brazil. Students will approach the theme through theoretical works that seek to define popular culture, understanding it as a hybrid form of expression that troubles the line between the "traditional" and the mass-produced. This course will examine how the circulation of sounds and images manifests and shapes Brazilian culture historically and in the present. We will also interrogate the different ways in which culture is produced and received, how it circulates in symbolic markets, and how it comes to be both consumed by diverse audiences and utilized in often unexpected ways. The course will cover topics such as the Tropicalia movement, Afro-centric Carnival blocos, street art such as graffiti, baile funk, forro, favela protest theater, telenovelas (soap operas), the popularization of samba, soccer and the World Cup, and Carnival. Students will use an interdisciplinary lens to approach popular culture in Brazil through music lyrics, TV and film, cultural performances, and graphic novels. These materials will form the basis of our class discussions and written assignments. The course will be taught in English. Prerequisite: L45 165D, L45 304, or another course on Latin America suggested.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU BA; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM