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Modern Brazil through Literature and Film in English Translation

This course examines examples of Brazilian drama, novels, and short stories from the modernist period as well some 19th-century works by perhaps Brazil’s most famous writer—Machado de Assis—who anticipated by several decades many of the “innovative” characteristics of Brazilian fiction from the first half of the 20th century.

While the focus is on Brazil, we will also examine the influence of Portugal on colonial and post-colonial cultural production. We will contextualize the studied works within the nationalistic endeavor in which so much modernist fiction engaged. We will highlight those elements that appear as uniquely Brazilian, while also pointing to the foreign influences that might have inspired them, thus exploring several facets of competing ideologies that vie for space in the Brazilian national consciousness.