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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Landscapes of Power: Brazil and its Histories (HIST10423)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAt first glance, Brazil appears to be a country of contrasts. Pristine beaches, soccer-crazed fans, euphoric street parades, and the majestic Amazon rainforest all give Brazil a sense of endless splendour. But it is also a nation that saw the largest importation of African slaves, a series of repressive military regimes, and has recently suffered from a dramatic spike in urban violence, deforestation, political corruption, and a volatile economy. The purpose of this course is to help students understand that although neither of those two images of Brazil is completely accurate, they are not totally false either. We will trace the changes and continuities in Brazilian history from the colonial period to the present day in order to show how various relationships of power have produced a society that can simultaneously embody such a wide range of elements.
Course description This course will explore the ways in which transformations and continuities in Brazil can be understood as "landscapes of power". We will examine how legacies from the colonial period affected Brazil's emergence as a modern nation-state, giving special attention to how landscapes of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and the environment have shaped the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The semester is divided into three chronological units: The Colonial Period, the New Republic, and Legacies of Dictatorship. We seek to understand how a society that on the surface seems to be defined by polarised contrasts, is actually the result of a long history of mutually constructed landscapes of power.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking History of Brazil (HIST10516)
Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Students should only be enrolled on this course with approval from the History Honours Programme Administrator.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least three History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Dassin, J. 1998. Torture in Brazil: a Shocking Report on the Pervasive Use of Torture by Brazilian Military Governments, 1964-1979. Austin: University of Texas Press

Davis, S. 1977. Victims of the Miracle: Development and the Indians of Brazil. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lesser, J. 1999. Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil. Durham: Duke University Press.

Levine, R.M. 1998. Father of the Poor?: Vargas and His Era. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Levine, R.M., and J.J. Crocitti. 1999. The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Schultz, K. 2001. Tropical Versailles: Empire, Monarchy, and the Portuguese Royal Court in Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1821. New York: Routledge.

Schwartz, S.B. 1985. Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society, Bahia, 1550-1835 New York: Cambridge University Press.

Skidmore, T. 1999. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sweet, J.H. 2003. Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Viotti da Costa, E. 1985. The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories, University of Chicago Press.

Weinstein, B. 2015. The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Weschler, L. 1990. A Miracle, a Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers. New York: Pantheon Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Timo Schaefer
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Samson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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