Understanding Brazil as a global crossroads of cultures, languages, and powers lies at the heart of the Portuguese MA program. 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 M.A. program in Portuguese, students broaden and deepen their knowledge of Brazil-related topics and themes, working closely with faculty members in Portuguese. Students draw on the many upper-level course offerings across departments and disciplines to create an individualized plan of study. We count this diversity and openness as one of our strengths, with students able to count courses in anthropology, comparative literature, ethnomusicology, global studies, history, and Latin American and Caribbean studies. For more on the coursework requirements for the M.A., please see:


For information on course offerings across disciplines, please see the list generated by Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. NB: Courses with at least 1/3 Brazil-related course content are eligible for credit in the Portuguese M.A.


Beginning in the second semester, students will begin to work with a professor in or affiliated with the Portuguese graduate program to develop a research project. During the second year students will produce a research project of publishable quality working with Portuguese and affiliated faculty, including up to 4 independent study hours.


Our M.A. graduates follow academic and non-academic career paths and foster new visions of the world from a Brazilian and Portuguese standpoint. For more information, contact the graduate advisor, John Tofik Karam.


Graduate program faculty:

John Tofik Karam, Associate Professor, Portuguese Undergraduate and Graduate Advisor, Area and Ethnic Studies, Transnational Studies.

Eduardo Ledesma, Associate Professor, 20th and 21st century Latin American (including Brazil) literature and culture; film and new media theory; historic avant-gardes; experimental poetry and narrative; word and image interaction.

Affiliated faculty:

Jerry Dávila, Professor, Department of History, Racial thought in public policy in Brazil, as well as the state and social movements in the twentieth century.

Waïl S. Hassan, Professor, Department of Comparative and World Literature, Modern Arabic, Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone literatures; literary and cultural theory; narrative theory; gender, postcolonial, translation, and transnational studies.

Marc Adam Hertzman, Associate Professor, Department of History, Brazil and Latin America with special interest in race, culture, labor, and gender.

Ryan Shosted, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics. Phonetics, Phonology, Mayan linguistics. Expertise in Portuguese phonetics and phonology.

Gisela Sin, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Political institutions with an emphasis on the strategic elements of separation of powers.

Faculty in other departments:

Mary Paula Arends-Kuenning, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Children's schooling and child labor in developing countries, fertility and contraceptive use in developing countries, economics of the household.

Merle Bowen, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, Race, ethnicity, gender, and politics in Africa and the African diaspora as well as land and labor in Afro-Brazilian rural communities.

Michael Silvers, Associate Professor, School of Music, Ethnomusicology, Brazilian music, and ecomusicology (the study of music and the environment).

Liliane Windsor, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Health disparities, substance use disorders, HIV prevention, and criminal justice with emphasis on distressed communities using mixed methods and community based participatory research.