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Introduction to Brazil

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Summer School 2013

“Introduction to Brazil: China’s new, exciting and exotic trading partner” (1 credit)

Instructor: Mr. Fraser G. MacHaffie, professor emeritus in Business and Economics, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, USA, and formerly Coordinator of Latin American Studies.

Course objective: Students will acquire an overview of and an appreciation for the history, geography and the varied culture of Brazil. This will enable students to have an understanding of contemporary Brazil in terms of domestic and international politics, economics, race, religion, and social programs. The course will be delivered in English and will use a combination of lecture, article reading and discussion, and extracts from DVDs.

Composition of grade: Several short written pieces 50
Two examinations based on articles, 25 x 2 = 50
100

Student’s Responsibility: During the course, students will be asked to submit several short written pieces, usually responses to questions on assigned articles. The work that students hand in must be their own work. Instances of submitting work of others and claiming it as one’s own will cause penalties, ranging from “0” for the piece to a reduction in the final grade. Students are encouraged to discuss these exercises but must hand in their own work.

Course plan: Note: the instructor reserves the right to make alterations in this program.

Day 1, Monday July 8
Introductions
Knowledge assessment
DVD: Extracts from “Michael Palin in Brazil,” British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Overview of history of Brazil

Day 2, Tuesday July 9
Political Change
Domestic

  • The political system
  • Article: Roett, “Toodle-oo Lula: Brazil looks forward with Dilma,” Current History
Foreign
  • Alignment
  • Article: Castañeda, “Latin America’s Left Turn,” Foreign Affairs

Day 3, Wednesday July 10
Legacy of Slavery
  • Article: Fry, “Race is too hard to identify,” New York Times
  • Article: “Black Brazilians are much worse off than they should be.” The Economist
  • DVD: Extracts from “Black in Latin America,” Public Broadcasting System (PBS)
“Capoeira”
  • Examples from YouTube clips

Day 4, Thursday July 11
Examination on articles on affirmative action in Brazil:
  • Seigal, “Brazil sets an example to follow,” New York Times
  • Nobles, “Quotas are working in Brazil,” New York Times
  • Dávila, “What Brazil does well,” New York Times
DVD: “Vamos ver!” [Let’s go see!] : extracts from “Brazil with Michael Palin”

Day 5, Monday July 15
Review of examination and articles
Religion:
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Protestant
  • Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
  • Candomblé
    • Video clips

Day 6, Tuesday July 16
Brazil’s Social Progress
  • Social programs
  • Education
Movement of the Landless Rural Workers (MST)
  • Video: “MST”
  • Video: “Cadê a Reforma Agrária, Dilma?” [Where’s the agrarian reform, Dilma?]

Day 7, Wednesday July 17
Brazil’s Economic Progress
  • Dependency Theory
  • Article: Josephs, “Sugar Futures Under Pressure,” Wall Street Journal
“Economic miracle”
  • Hyperinflation
  • Real Plan
Article: “Getting it together at last,” The Economist
Article: “Living the custo Brasil,” The Economist
Trade groups: NAFTA, Mercosul, FTAA, Pacific Alliance

Day 8, Thursday July 18
Sino-Brazilian Relations
  • Alignments: Cold War and later
  • ROC, PRC
  • BRICS
  • PRC-Brazil Joint Action Plan 2010-2014
Examination on articles:
  • Sharma, “Bearish on Brazil,” Foreign Affairs
  • O’Neil, Lapper, Rohter, Lemos, Sharma, “Responses to Bearish on Brazil,” Foreign Affairs.

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