Portuguese 115: The Brazilian Lyric

TuTh 2-3:30P, DWINELLE 258 | Instructor: Wolfson | CCN: 32137

Units: 4

This course offers a panoramic view of Brazilian culture and history through lyric traditions and counter-traditions. Our focus will be Brazilian poems (including song lyrics) from the 19th century to the present, but we will also examine colonial and baroque texts and how they resonate with modern, mid-century and post-dictatorship literary materials. Moving through key poetic movements from simbolismo to Poesia Marginal, we will examine why the lyric has been a chosen medium for authors to conceptualize identity, difference, ethics, politics and aesthetics. A guiding theme is how Brazilian poets contested the legacy of colonialism through poetic strategies, such as translation and emulation, and how they envisioned making Brazilian poetry autonomous. By the end of the course students should have both a sense of the historical evolution of poetry in Brazil and practical training in reading and responding to poetry, song—and literature more generally. Course conducted in Portuguese. No previous background in poetry or Brazilian literature required.