Portuguese 275: Portraits of “Outsiders” – A Look at a range of Excluded Others in Brazilian Literature and Film

Tu 3-6P, BARROWS 180 | Instructor: Slater | CCN: 19788

Units: 4

Working knowledge of Portuguese required

This course examines a range of outsiders within Brazilian society—the rural poor versus the urban poor, particular sorts of women in a male context, indigenous peoples, Blacks, LBGT people, and so on. We will keep returning to the strategies that the authors and filmmakers utilize in their portrayal of these varied “others” who are not just inesquecíveis but memoráveis in the sense of incorporating (and thereby stirring up or re-framing) individual and collective memories. We will also reflect together on the ways in which the works transform their matéria bruta (in the sense of raw material and also, at times, of brutal actions) by building upon, or breaking with, older tropes of otherness. The accompanying critical readings raise important questions that provide a larger social and historical context that emphasize the works’ more collective dimensions. “What,” we will keep asking, “do these particular outsiders-within allow or force the author to do that he or she would have trouble doing otherwise?

Some of the authors and filmmakers include Graciliano Ramos, Clarice Lispector, Raduan Nassar, Milton Hatoum, Eduardo Coutinho, Kleber Mendonça Filho, José Padilha, and Ciro Guerra (the last of these a Colombian filmmaker who depicts an area of the Amazon where one finds Brazilians as well as Colombians.)