Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development


One semester of Portuguese or two semesters of a college-level Romance language other than Portuguese.

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The coursework for the Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development program spans a wide range of subjects, from Portuguese language study and history to economics and gender studies. In addition to intensive language classes and lectures, students take a research methods and ethics seminar to develop research and cross-cultural communication skills. During the final month of the semester, students leverage their collective knowledge and skills to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP).

The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Social Justice and Public Policy in Brazil - syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Social Justice and Public Policy in Brazil course examines the historical conditions of colonial Brazil most pertinent to the study of social injustice and inequality in contemporary northeastern Brazil. The seminar provides the broad background necessary to understand the existence of social injustice by studying the emancipation struggles of indigenous, African, and Afro-descendants in historical context. It addresses long-standing issues of social exclusion and marginalization, focusing in particular on indigenous populations, women, children, and the landless and these groups’ struggles for human rights. The course also seeks to understand the influence and impact of social emancipation struggles and civil society organizations in the transition from authoritarianism to present-day democracy.

Race, Gender, and Sustainable Development in Brazil - syllabus (PDF)
(LACB 3005/ 3 credits / 45 class hours)
The Race, Gender, and Sustainable Development in Brazil course explores the historical and present struggles of Afro-descendants to dismantle a complex and violent system of discriminatory and exclusionary practices. It studies Afro-descendant social participation and development efforts. Particular attention is dedicated to the historical construction of Afro-descendant identity, the influence of Afro-descendant social and political movements, and recent governmental affirmative action to address racial discrimination and exclusion. The seminar also explores how human degradation is linked to environmental degradation. Within the thematic modules, emphasis is placed on efforts to achieve sustainable human relationships. Students will consider the influence of Afro-descendant and indigenous systems of knowledge, the building and strengthening of solidarity-based economies, and citizen participation. They will look at the formulation and implementation of public policies focused on social and restorative justice and community-generated articulations of new, creative visions of human relations.

Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Research Methods and Ethics provides the theoretical, conceptual, and practical tools for conducting field research in Brazil. In particular, it provides the means to identify and carry out an independent three to four-week field-based research project. Emphasis is placed on grappling with cultural differences and on recording, interpreting, and analyzing information from primary sources. The concepts and skills developed in the seminar underlie and reinforce all other program components. The seminar begins during orientation with an initiation to field study techniques and continues throughout the program. In addition, the ethical implications and consequences of observations, discussions, field exercises, interviews, assignments, and work journals are examined throughout.

Independent Study Project - syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 4 credits / 120 class hours)
Conducted in Fortaleza or in another approved location appropriate to the project in northeastern Brazil. Sample topic areas: agrarian reform in the state of Ceará and the northeast; urbanization and economic development; urban social movements; Afro-Brazilian religion and culture; migratory trends and demographic impact; the changing role of women in Brazilian society; economic and social plight of favela dwellers; culture and racial identity in northeastern Brazil; nongovernmental organizations and community organizations; Afro-Brazilian music; issues of cultural identity; alternative healing practices; religion and culture; class issues in Ceará; social action among youth; rights of the elderly.

Intensive Language Study: Portuguese for Social and Development Studies I - syllabus (PDF)
(PORT 1000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Portuguese for Social and Development Studies II - syllabus (PDF)
(PORT 1500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Intensive Language Study: Portuguese for Social and Development Studies III - syllabus (PDF)
(PORT 2000 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
Emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing, students are placed in beginning or intermediate classes. Special arrangements are available for advanced speakers of Portuguese.

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Fortaleza

Language Study: Portuguese

Prerequisites: 1 semester Portuguese or 2 semesters of another Romance language Read more...


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Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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