(Knowledge of Portuguese Required)
The “Global South”—a term that emerged in transnational and postcolonial studies and that is generally used for the “less developed” countries in Latin America and Africa—has tended to dwell upon big cities, when not outright metropoli. In the case of Brazil, most of the research has been on São Paulo and other urban spaces in the nation’s south. This seminar, in contrast, looks at the Northeast and the Amazon—both of which are far poorer and less populated than the Brazilian south, but which do possess a number of large cities. (The Amazon today has two major cities and is about two-thirds urban; the Northeast has more.) We will compare the ways that these regions are envisioned and why they rarely enter into discussions of urbanization, even when they contain urban spaces that are growing faster than others in the Brazilian south.
We will be concerned with shifting—and also, stubbornly enduring—representations of these two regions and the ways in which writers and filmmakers reinforce and/or reaffirm old stereotypes. We will also look at theorists from the fields of Literature and History, as well as Urban Studies. The writers and filmmakers include Milton Hatoum, Ronaldo Brito de Correia, Euclides da Cunha, Graciliano Ramos, Eduardo Coutinho, and Kleber Mendonça Filho. The theorists include Manuel Castells, Durval Muniz de Albuquerque Júnior, and Neil Brenner and Christian Schmid, along with key contributors to recent journals that debate issues of primary interest to the seminar.