Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development

Faculty and Staff

Program staff - Bill Calhoun, Caliny Pinheiro, and Oelito Brandao

Bill Calhoun, Academic Director
Bill Calhoun first came to Brazil as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study Brazilian culture at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. He received his BA in political science and international relations in 1978 and went on to earn his MA in Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980.  While attending the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mr. Calhoun spent a summer in Salvador, Bahia, as a Tinker Foundation Fellow. He returned to Bahia in 1986 as a Fulbright scholar.  He joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1988.
Mr. Calhoun has participated in several international investigations of the systematic civil, political, and human rights violations of minorities in Brazil. He served as a member of the World Council of Churches team to investigate discrimination in Brazil and worked for two years as an instructor for the Latin American Catholic Bishops Conference (CELAM) in Bogota, Colombia. In this position, Mr. Calhoun taught and assisted community and religious organizations in thirteen Latin American countries, including Brazil. In addition to his academic and professional interest in Brazil, Mr. Calhoun has traveled to the country many times in a personal capacity to conduct research and work with community organizations.

In his role as academic director, Mr. Calhoun oversees every aspect of the Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development study abroad program. In addition to delivering lectures, advising students, and coordinating academic seminars, Mr. Calhoun helps plan the program's educational excursions and works to ensure that students' academic needs are met.

Andrea Vasconcelos, Program Assistant
Andrea is currently completing her doctorate in education (EdD) as a practitioner-researcher with the University of Exeter in the UK. She is developing her thesis using a postcolonial theoretical framework of analysis to address the ethical responsibilities of a global educator and how key concepts in postcolonial discourse can be translated into practice. Her research focuses on a critical reading of contemporary theories and discourses around globalization, development, and pedagogical practices. Interrogation of dominant ways of knowing and being in the world is central to Andrea’s work, and her role in the Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development program focuses on developing critical literacy with students as they undertake ethical social research.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Andrea lived and worked in England for six years and has been living in Brazil since 2011. She is involved in a project called Wide Open Minds, which teaches English to young children in a marginalized community in Fortaleza with the nongovernmental organization IPOM (Instituto Povo do Mar). In addition to receiving a structured approach to language acquisition, students are encouraged to guide their own learning and develop critical perspectives on the problems faced by their community. Andrea has been working to open an educational space where something new can emerge and education can be practiced with an orientation toward the future and freedom. Andrea’s work values alterity, solidarity, and reciprocity and attempts to reimagine and rethink otherwise established educational orders that oppress and marginalize.

In her role as program assistant, Andrea assists the academic director in the overall delivery of the program with special emphasis on the Research Methods and Ethics thematic seminar. Andrea accompanies the group in class lectures, group visits, and other field experiences, providing assistance related to assignments and readings as well as preparing students for the Independent Study Project.

Oélito Brandao, Program Assistant
Oélito Brandao works with the academic director to help oversee the program's day-to-day activities. He manages the program offices and lecture facilities as well as the SIT library and computer center. Mr. Brandao has been associated with the SIT program in Fortaleza for almost 20 years. He has a BA in educational pedagogy from Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú and is active in several organizations and social movements in the community.

Caliny Pinheiro, Program Assistant
Caliny was born in Quixadá, Ceará and started working for the SIT Brazil: Social Justice and Sustainable Development program as an intern in 2003. Caliny became a full member of the team after finishing her degree as an accountant at the State University of Ceará in 2005. Caliny assists the academic director in everything that relates to the financial sector: she is responsible for all of the payments and purchases made during the program. In addition, Caliny plays a crucial role in organizing events and keeping track of all program details.

Sampling of the Lecturers for this Program:

Professor Jaime Santana Sodré, PhD
Prof. Jaime Santana Sodré Pereira received his doctorate in social history and his master's degree in theory and art history from the Federal University of Bahia, Salvador. In addition to being a professor of design at the State University of Bahia, Professor Sodré is a musician, composer, writer, poet, and an Ogan of the Terreiro Tanuri Junçara and Oloiê of the Terreiro Bogum, both temples of the Camdomblé religion. Professor Sodré's published works include: Manuel Querino: Heroi da Raça e Classe (2001), As Histórias de Lokoirokotempo: Camdomblé para crianças (1995), and the Influence of Afro-Brazilian Religion in the Sculpture Art of Mestre Didi (2006). In addition he has presented the study "A Design of the Soul - A Legacy of Axé from the Mestres and Mestras of the Knowings and Doings" at the IV Brazilian Congress of Black Researchers 2006. Professor Sodré has produced two CDs, "Tribute and Ancestrality" (2002) and "The Sacred Mask of Candomblé" (1998) in addition to a soundtrack for the film Anjo Negro (Black Angel) that was produced by José Humberto in 1972. In 2007, Professor Sodré was recognized for revitalizing samba in the City of Salvador's schools.  He has received awards from the Fund of the United Nations for Children for having implemented UNICEF´s Statute for Children and Adolescents in 1991.

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Professor Lindinalva Amaro Barbosa, MA
Professor Lindinalva Amaro Barbosa received a master's degree in linguistics from the State University of Bahia. The title of her monograph was "The Afro-Religious Poetics of Abdias do Nascimento." Professor Barbosa currently works as a researcher at the Center for Afro-Oriental Studies of the Federal University of Bahia. From 2003 to 2007, she worked as a researcher at the Palmares Cultural Foundation of the Culture Ministry of the State of Bahia.  Professor Barbosa has extensive experience teaching and researching black literature, educational and cultural plurality, Black Resistance, and identity and religions of the African matrix. Her publications include: Quilombo de Palavras (Marroon Community of Words) (2000) and "Black and Indigenous Religious Dimensions" (2005). Professor Barbosa has presented several papers at scholarly congresses such as: "Through the Waters of the Atlantic Ocean Sail Verses of Freedom: Pan-African Echoes in the Afro Brazilian Literature" and "Maternal Courage - Identities of Race and Gender in Black Poetics" (2007).

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Professor Linda Maria de Pontes Gondim, PhD
Dr. Linda Maria de Pontes Gondim received her BA in social sciences from the Federal University of Ceará. Her master's degree in urban and regional planning is from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and she holds a doctorate in urban and regional planning from Cornell University. Additionally, she has a post-doctoral degree from the University of Maryland. Professor Gondim is currently a professor at the Federal University of Ceará and teaches in the undergraduate program of social sciences and the graduate program of sociology. In addition, Professor Gondim has extensive experience in the areas of urban and regional planning, urban sociology, and sociology of law. Her areas of research include: urban social movements, popular participation, research methodology, and the planning and management of the city of Fortaleza. She has published vastly in several scholarly journals. Her articles include: "Slum Planet" (2007), "A New Model of Urban Development" (1992), "Social Urban Movements: Organization and Internal Democracy" (1991), and "Planning Practice Within Public Bureaucracy: A New Perspective on Roles of Planners" (1988). Her published books include: Research as Intellectual Handcraft: Considerations About a Method of Common Sense (2006), Clientelism and Modernity in Public Policies: The Governments of Change in Ceará (1998), and Planners in the Face of Power: The Case of the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1987).

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Professor Henrique Antunes Cunha Junior, PhD
Prof. Henrique Antunes Cunha Junior studied sociology at the State University Júlio de Mesquita Filho in São Paulo and electrical engineering at the University of São Paulo. Professor Cunha holds a master's degree in history from the Universite de Nancy I in France and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine, France. He also concluded his specialization in economy at the School of Arts and Metiers of Nancy in France. Professor Cunha is currently a tenured professor at the University of São Paulo and the Federal University of Ceará. Prof. Cunha also teaches in the Graduate Education School where he specializes in the areas of African culture, Afro-Descendance, urban space, ethnic relations, history, and African and Afro Descendant culture. Professor Cunha is a member of the National Council for the Promotion of Racial Equality and is president of the Brazilian Association of Black Researchers. His publications include: "Racism, a Structural and Ideological Problem for Brazilian Social Relationships" (2008) and "Unfinished Abolition and the Education of Afro-descendents" (2008). His published books include: "Urban Space and Afro-descendence: Black Urban Spatiality (2007) and Education and Afro-descendance in Brazil (2007).

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Professor Eduardo David de Oliveira, PhD
Professor Eduardo David de Oliveira received his BA in philosophy from the Federal University of Paraná (1997), with a specialist degree in African cultures and inter-ethnic relations from the Unibem (1998). He obtained a master’s degree in social anthropology from the Federal University of Paraná (2001) and a doctorate in education from the Federal University of Ceará (2005). Professor Oliveira's work is focused primarily on the following areas: ethics, Latin American philosophy, contemporary philosophy, social anthropology, popular education and social movements, African cosmovision, philosophy of Afro-Descendance, Afro Brazilian studies, history, and African literature and ancestry. Professor Oliveira is also a consultant for popular social movements in the areas of negritude, popular education, and solidarity economy. His publications include: Cosmovisão Africana no Brasil: Elementos para uma Filosofia Afrodescendente (African Cosmovision in Brazil: Elements for an Afro-descendant Philosophy) (2003); Ética e Movimentos Sociais Populares: Práxis, Subjectividade e Libertação (Popular Ethics and Social Popular Movements: Praxis, subjectivity and release) (2006); Filosofia e Ancestralidade: Corpo e mito na filosofia da educação brasileira (Philosophy of the Ancestry: body and myth in the philosophy of Brazilian education) (2007) and; Ancestralidade na Encruzilhada (Ancestry in the Crossroads) (2007), published by the Gráfica e Editora Popular de Curitiba.

Professor Francisco Amaro Gomes de Alencar, PhD
Professor Francisco Amaro Gomes de Alencar holds a BA in geography, a master's degree in development and environmental studies, and a doctorate in sociology from the Federal University of Ceará. He is currently a professor in the Department of Geography at the Federal University of Ceará. His teaching and research apply primarily to the areas of rural settlements, agrarian reform, land tenure, and management of rural settlements. Professor Amaro has worked extensively with governmental agencies such as IDACE (Development Agrarian Institute of Ceará) and non-governmental organizations including PNUD BRAZIL (United Nations) to plan debates and conferences. He also has assisted with the implementation of policies relating to land reform and rural settlements. His publications include: "Reflections on the participation of settlers in the Municipal Election" (2005) and "Grassroots and Government Conflict" (2003). He has co-edited several books and published Intimate Secretes: The Management of Settlements of the Agrarian Reform, 2000.

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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...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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