Portuguese 113: Brazilian Culture under Dictatorship

MWF 11A-12P, VLSB 2070 | Instructor: Wolfson | CCN: 31881

Units: 4

This course examines cultural production in Brazil during the Dictatorship (1964-85): the lead-up to the 1964 military coup, the “opening” of the late 1970s and democratization processes of the early 1980s. We will study how authors, artists, citizens and institutions navigated the ambiguous relations between culture and politics during the regime. We begin with the creation of Brasilia and related poetic and artistic movements and theory (de Campos, Pignatari, Pedrosa). We proceed to examine cultural practices from/concerning the most repressive years of the regime (1968 until around 1975), including the novel (Callado, Lispector, Veríssimo, Veiga, Kucinski), visual art (Oiticica, Clark, Barrio and Schendel) and poetry (Leminski, César, Poesia Marginal). Finally, we transition to the late 1970s, including anarchist, queer and feminist critiques of the democratic “opening” (Daniel, Hudinilson Jr, Abreu, Andrade) and aesthetic reactions to economic instability, inflation, hyperinflation, and scarcity (Meireles, Bruscky, Geiger). In all, this seminar will combine readings of literature, visual arts and criticism (Süssekind, Schwarz, Tafuri, Langland, Steyerl) to understand the dictatorship and its still-alarming after-lives.