‘Brazil Rising’ symposium at WUSTL April 4-6

Events include film, dance workshop and keynote lecture on emerging world leader in economics, politics

A symposium focusing on culture, law and development in Brazil will be held April 4-6 at Washington University in St. Louis. Events include a film, a dance and percussion workshop and keynote lecture.

The symposium is being held not only to have fun celebrating Brazilian culture, but also to investigate development in Brazil, an urgent and controversial topic both local and global in scope, says symposium organizer Derek Pardue, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.

The flag of Brazil. Brazil, the largest country in South America, is gaining increased attention as a world power. (Credit: Stock Exchange)

“Brazil has attracted spectators and scientists from around the world for decades due to its Carnival festivals, soccer players, groovy infectious pop music, Brazilian ideas and practices of racial mixture, and the art and danger of shantytown life,” says Pardue, also assistant professor of international and area studies in Arts & Sciences.

“Since the turn of the 21st century, Brazil has gone to another level and gained increasing attention as a major player in geopolitics and global economics,” Pardue says. “Brazil deserves critical inquiry.”

All events are free and open to the public, with the exception of the April 6 book discussion, which is open only to WUSTL faculty and graduate students.

The symposium schedule:

Wednesday, April 4

Film Toxic Amazon (2011) and discussion, 4 p.m. Busch 100
Brazilian journalist and environmental activist Felipe Milanez will participate in a conversation about the violence associated with development and law in the Amazon. Milanez was named a “Forest Hero” by the United Nations in 2012.

Dance & Percussion Workshop, 7 p.m. the Gargoyle in Mallinckrodt Center
Attendees can learn to dance and play samba with instructor Eliana Oliveira and percussionist Moacyr Marchini. This event is limited to the first 20 people who sign up to svital@wustl.edu by Monday, April 2.

Thursday, April 5

Keynote talk “The Dirty Politics of Shantytown Radicalism: Murder, Slander and Associational Life in Mid-Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro,” 6 p.m. Women’s Building Formal Lounge
This lecture, by Brodwyn Fischer, PhD, associate professor of history at Northwestern University, focuses on Rio de Janeiro’s first favela (slum) association in the 1950s, the leader of which later was credibly accused of the sort of land-grabbing and violence the association fought against. The talk also will examine the problems of idealization of grassroots lawmaking and associations and of plural sources of power/rights/law when they are not constrained by any baseline societal consensus.

Friday, April 6

Discussion of book A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro (2008), 10 a.m.
Faculty and graduate students can participate in the African Diaspora Reading Group discussion of the award-winning book A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro with the book’s author, Brodwyn Fischer (also the keynote speaker). For more information, email ymiki@wustl.edu.

Refreshments will be available at all events except the Dance & Percussion Workshop.

Organizers of the event, along with Pardue, are Selma Vital, PhD, lecturer in Portuguese in Arts & Sciences; Yuko Miki, PhD, assistant professor of history in Arts & Sciences; and freshman Theresa Jahl.

The events are sponsored by International and Area Studies, the departments of Anthropology and of History, and the Association of Latin American Students.

For more information, visit artsci.wustl.edu/%7Edpardue/web_pardue/BRising2012.html or email Pardue at dpardue@wustl.edu.