T4936 – Inequality and Resistance: Culture and Social Justice in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil (Preview)

Salvador, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro
Faculty: Scott Ickes and Thia Cooper

This course introduces students to inequality in Brazil and the creative ways that individuals and organizations use the power of culture and cultural identity to redress social injustice.

Academic Overview
This course takes students for three weeks to coastal Salvador, Bahia, Brazil’s third largest city and colonial capital. Salvador played a key role in Brazil’s historical, multi-racial and multi-cultural formation. Students will study aspects of racial, cultural and gender discrimination in Brazil and explore the ways that Afro-Brazilians and their allies have used culture, identity, and social movements to push back and rework inequality and structures of domination. Students will have readings, guest lectures by local experts, visit local NGO’s and institutions working with social justice, explore the city, and participate in a service learning project designed by the instructor. Students stay with host families and take basic or intermediate Portuguese. Grade assessment will be through reflection journals, class participation, and short written work that shows meaningful connections between the reading material, the themes of inequality and resistance, and their experiences in Brazil.  After nearly three weeks in Salvador, the students will stop in Rio de Janeiro for a day and a half.

Program Fee
Cost: $5795 – $6095
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.  Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, home stay accommodations in single, twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, five lunches and twenty-one dinners (subject to change).

No prerequisites are required.

Required Readings

Marshall Eakin, “The Country of the Present” in Jeffrey Needell, ed.
Richard Graham, Feeding the City, chapter 1.
Lisa Earl Castillo and Luis Nicolau Pares. 2010. “Marcelina da Silva: A Nineteenth-Century Candomble Priestess in Bahia”. Slavery & Abolition. 31, no. 1: 1-27.
Scott Ickes, Afro-Brazilian Culture and Regional Identity, introduction, chapter 3.
Edward Eric Telles, Race in another America: the significance of skin color in Brazil (Princeton University Press, 2004), Chapter Two (“From White Supremacy to Racial Democracy”).
Kia Lily Caldwell, Negras in Brazil, chapter 1 and 3.
Keisha Khan-Perry, The Roots of Black Resistance: Race, Gender and the Struggle for Urban Land Rights in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil”.
Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha, The Brazilian Sound. Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2008, chapter 6, “Bahia of All the Saints.”
Stanley Bailey, Legacies of Race: Identities, Attitudes, and Politics in Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2009), Introduction and chapter 7, “Affirmative Action”.
Janice Perlman, Favela: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro, selections.

Reflection journals 55%
Participation and Class discussion 35%
Written Work 10% each

Program Directors
Scott Ickes, Ph.D., History Department, Gustavus Adolphus College, (507) 933-6339. e-mail address: sickes@gustavus.edu

Thia Cooper, Ph.D., Religion Department, Gustavus Adolphus College, (507) 933-6296, e-mail address: tcooper@gustavus.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Professor Ickes has been an expert on Brazil for nearly twenty years. He teaches courses in history, politics and culture at Gustavus Adolphus College and is the author of Afro-Brazilian Culture and Regional Identity in Bahia, Brazil (2013). He has traveled, worked and lived in Brazil many times over the last two decades.

Dr. Cooper teaches courses on Religion, Social Justice and Development in Latin America and has written Controversies in Political Theology: Development or Liberation (2007).  She has lived and worked in Bahia, Brazil.


Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Scott Ickes
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.