Program

Download the program (PDF).

Monday, Nov. 14 – Location: Charles Commons Salon C

9:30-10 a.m. Coffee Break and Registration
10-10:30 Lecture: Brazil: Opening Remarks
Franklin Netto, Counselor, Head of the Educational Section, Brazilian Embassy
10:30 a.m.-noon Lecture: Breaking the Silence: A Long View of Afro-Brazilian Politics and Racialized Reaction
Dr. Celso Castilho, Vanderbilt University
noon-1 p.m. Lunch Break Accompanied by Brazilian Music
1-2 Students’ Poster Session
2-3:30 Lecture: Brazil: Political Culture and Change in a Modern Society
Dr. Franklin Knight, Johns Hopkins University
3:30-5 Lecture: Street Commerce Between Slavery and Freedom in Rio de Janeiro
Dr. Patricia Acerbi, George Mason University
5-5:30 Coffee Break
5:30-7:30 Film Screening: Antonia (2006) by Tata Amaral, Subtitles in English

Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Location: Charles Commons Salon C

10:30 a.m.-noon Lecture: Eros Volúsia: Dancing Mestiçagem in Brazil
Dr. Ana Paula Höfling, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro
noon-1 p.m. Mini Lecture: The African Heritage in Brazilian Music: A Brief Approach on Brazilian Classical and Popular Music Written by Afro-Brazilian Composers
Guilherme Andreas, Peabody Conservatory, GPD Candidate
1-2 Lunch Break and Students’ Poster Session
2-3:30 Lecture: Anointed with Dendê: Food, Gender and Afro-Brazilian Identity in the Streets of Bahia
Dr. Allan Charles Dawson, Drew University
3:30-5 Closing Panel Discussion: Legacies of the African Diaspora in Brazil
Panelists: Dr. Ana Paula Höfling, The University of North Carolina
Dr. Allan Charles Dawson, Drew University
Dr. Celso Castilho, Vanderbilt University
Moderator: Dr. Franklin Knight, Johns Hopkins University
5-6 Closing Reception Accompanied by Brazilian Music

Lecture Descriptions

Breaking the Silence: A Long View of Afro-Brazilian Politics and Racialized Reaction
Dr. Celso Castilho, Vanderbilt University

“Há tempo de calar e há tempo de falar. O tempo de calar passou, começou o tempo de falar.” This is how the Afro-Brazilian journalist, educator, and law-school graduate Felipe Neri Collaço began the first article in the first issue of the first “Black” paper to appear in nineteenth-century Recife, the provincial capital of Pernambuco and the third-largest city in imperial Brazil. A veritable presence in the Brazilian print milieu since the 1840s, and a former assistant editor of the Diário de Pernambuco, this was nonetheless the first time that Collaço publicized, front-and-center, Black racial politics. The weekly paper was called O Homem, and it circulated for the first three months of 1876. For context, the twelve issues printed under Collaço’s direction exceeded the runs typical of publications we think of as part of the ephemeral press. Indeed, in probing deeper into his newspaper, the controversies that it stemmed from, as well as, the new polemics that it generated, we can begin to appreciate the wider contours of a formative moment within the long history of Afro-Brazilian political mobilization; a history, we must note, that has nevertheless also evolved in tandem with, or is perhaps constitutive of, an equally visible history of racialized reaction.

This paper takes a historical perspective on Afro-Brazilian struggles for access, representation, and power in public life. It considers these interventions as part of Brazil’s broader processes of democratization, and situates them in relation to national and international geopolitics. This history has unfolded amid racialized and gendered structures of power, which in different ways have shaped not only the languages and styles of Black politics, that is, the how politics have been articulated, but also the reactionary narratives produced in response to such processes. In thus emphasizing this relational dynamic between Black activism and racialized reaction, we are able to better appreciate the contingent ways that racial scripts have been at the center of projects aimed to expand and constrict the boundaries of belonging; and, we are also able to highlight the entrenched, historical practices of delegitimizing popular struggle through anti-black racialization. In effect, it is evident that despite Brazil’s founding myth as a culturally and racially mixed nation, debating the implications of blackness remained and remains a crucial way of ensuring meaningful Afro-Brazilian participation in the body politic. From an analysis of Afro-Brazilian politics and racialized reaction in the context of emancipation and post-emancipation, this presentation then turns to more contemporary contexts, and in particular the charged debates surrounding the centennial of abolition, to reflect upon how these different “tempos de falar” have recast how we understand the history of Brazilian citizenship.

Street Commerce Between Slavery and Freedom in Rio de Janeiro
Dr. Patricia Acerbi, George Mason University

The widespread practice of urban vending in Rio de Janeiro, which lasts to this day, was particularly shaped by the transition from enslaved to free labor. This transitional era, the legacy of slavery, and the everyday practices of buyers and sellers contributed to the making of an urban tradition that was marginalized and at the same time accepted and celebrated. As a consequence of vending’s ambiguous presence in the city, street vendors affirmed their rights and struggle for citizenship in post-abolition Brazil.

Read the corresponding paper.

The African Heritage in Brazilian Music: A Brief Approach on Brazilian Classical and Popular Music Written by Afro-Brazilian Composers
Guilherme Andreas, Peabody Conservatory, GPD Candidate

Brazil’s musical identity is recognized as rich and complex due to its African, European and Native-Brazilian mixed ancestry. However, the African musical heritage full of syncope and batuque, has a main role on how Brazilian Classical and Popular composers developed Brazil’s new Musical Identity. Some of the African-Brazilian composers that had great importance in this process are Chiquinha Gonzaga, Pattapio Silva and Pixinguinha (Alfredo da Rocha Viana), to name a few.

Anointed with Dendê: Food, Gender and Afro-Brazilian Identity in the Streets of Bahia
Dr. Allan Charles Dawson, Drew University

Acarajé is an Afro-Brazilian culinary specialty made of a bean fritter deep fried in palm oil and served with shrimp, chilies, cilantro and other condiments. Most Brazilians see it as the food that best represents the African-influenced cuisine of the northeast state of Bahia. It is often used by tourist agencies and travel companies to depict the city as rustic, quaint, and—most importantly—Black. This presentation explores how questions about Blackness and the African past, competitive religious identity, gender and ethnicity all converge and intersect within the key symbol of this food item and the women who vend this product on the streets of Bahia.