Understanding Brazil as a global crossroads of cultures, languages, and powers lies at the heart of the Portuguese studies program at both the B.A. and M.A. levels. Our approach underscores Brazil as a gateway to study ties with Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas, across the Atlantic and Global South, as well as a conduit for relations among Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Our language program focuses on the national formation and transnational interplay among African, Asian, European, Indigenous, and Middle Eastern peoples and histories that shape not only Brazil but also Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, and other parts of what is sometimes called the Lusophone world.
In the Portuguese studies major, students gain command of the language and acquire skills from a range of approaches, including diaspora and transnational studies; intersectional, cultural, and historical understandings of class, gender, race, and sexuality; and postcolonial studies. One of our strengths is that students can count as part of their majors or minors courses they take in anthropology, comparative literature, ethnomusicology, global studies, history, and Latin American and Caribbean studies. We are committed to including students from colleges such as ACES, Business, and Engineering as well. Our B.A. and M.A. graduates follow local and global career paths and foster new visions of the world from a Brazilian and Portuguese standpoint.
Seven learning outcomes define the Portuguese and Brazilian studies program:
- Students learn and practice the nuances of the language in all of its written and spoken modes, formally and informally
- Students demonstrate special cultural and linguistic literacy in relation to Portuguese and the ability to use concepts and methods from multiple disciplines
- Students exhibit critical awareness of the tensions and opportunities inherent to globalist and universalist understandings
- Students evaluate the dynamics of power between dominant and subordinate groups in Brazil, especially through the lens of class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality
- Students know the history of Brazil’s interplay with Latin America and the Lusophone world
- Students gain a global perspective on civil society and social justice through Brazil and the Portuguese language
- Students develop avenues to support scholarly and professional interests in a Brazilian and/or Portuguese-speaking context