Course Description

Brazil is a complex country. Blessed with abundant natural resources, it has constantly failed to transform this potential into sustained economic development. The economic growth that happened in the past century has exacerbated long lasting inequalities that date back to the colonial period, with the legacy of slavery still looming large to this day. These inequalities, when analyzed more deeply, show that race is still a major aspect of the country’s struggle for social and economic development. This class will take students to four Brazilian cities to explore the relationship between development, inequality, and race in Brazil. By visiting the former colonial capital (Salvador in the Northeast of the country), the former imperial capital (Rio de Janeiro, in the Southeast region), the current capital (Brasília, in the Center West region), and a city by the Amazon River (Belém, in the Northern region), students will learn about the historical contexts that have created Brazil as a nation while also seeing firsthand the economic, social, cultural, and racial diversity of the country.