Author Archives: David

3 Takeaways from Modern Brazil

There was a lot of information covered in this class throughout the whole semester. Here is what I think were three important takeaways.

1.) Learning about how entities such as the Emperor of Brazil, Vargas, and the Dictatorship of the 1960s shaped the Brazilian Nation as we know it today. I never learned much about the historical origins of Brazil and the class revealed that to me.

2.) Racial Democracy was an unfamiliar term I encountered. It was a strange concept to me until I read into it further. It is an interesting approach to try and correct racial tensions. However, it did not work as intended. By exploring concepts such as “Blackness” and how that compares to our American perception was interesting.

3.) Learning how to use iMovie was a vital skill to have learned. I hate working with Apple software and hardware such as MacBooks and other Apple Applications. As a Windows and Linux person, this was a significant change to learn how the iMovie software works and making that video proved useful. I remember in Colonial Latin America that I did not use iMovie and I hastily put together my project. With this knowledge, I am ready to make other movies for my classes without pulling my lack of hair out.

IS Symposium Blog

For I.S. Symposium I attended two Latin American presentations on Kauke 2nd Floor. The first one was called “More Coffee Please?: The Present and Future of the Coffee Industry in Columbia and Honduras in Light of Oppressive Climate Change,” by Diana Bickmore. It was about how Climate Change is affecting Arabica coffee bean growth in these countries and could be detrimental to the local farmers growing them. Latin America is considered important in this because most coffee production comes from Latin America, and as well as Africa. The second presentation I went to was called “Adopted Across Cultures: A Comparative Analysis of Adoption Attitudes between the United States and Honduras,” by Sidney Irias. Unfortunately, she was not there to present but, I read through her poster. It was mostly saying that people, dependent on their religious, gender, and age had different opinions as to adopting children from the country. An example of the opinions is religious, and Catholic families in the United States would be more willing to adopt a Catholic Honduran if they cannot have a child. It didn’t have an opinion per say on Latin America, but the topic was related.

The Wasteland Question Post

1.) How many of the children (percentage) of the pickers come back and support their families in the Picker Operations? I recall that the one guy at the beginning (I forget his name) wanted his future child to be a lawyer to help protect their rights.

2.) In the art produced by Vic Muniz, how did it improve the morale of the Pickers at the landfill? It didn’t really touch on it a whole lot in my opinion.

The Hour of the Star Discussion Question

Discussion Question: What is the point in calling this Macabea “stupid” or “dumb” at times.


So from reading the text, there are various examples where the narrator takes a step back and talks about Macabea’s life. It strikes me as she is trapped in this situation and she can’t escape due to her lack of abilities. Like I understand the story is trying to present this girl as the main focus but at the same time, its constantly berating the character. But it doesn’t seem very practical while trying to explain her importance. I suppose its all symbolism because at the beginning it briefly mentions that she is one of many that came from the northeast to settle in Rio de Janiero. She is one of many from the northeast that migrated to Rio de Janiero, so theoretically maybe that is an assumption made about northeasterners? I’m not entirely sure.

Class Notes for 3/6/2018

Important Notices: Firstly we have to upload a discussion question on the Blog Post on Wednesday Night. Secondly, we have an assignment for the Research abstract and annotated bibliography due on Friday.


Latin American Culture/History Blog Post:

Today, Tongtong talked about Retirement in Brazil and how it works. She stated 3 categories that characterized the modern Retirement system. Those being the requirement, politics, and controversy surrounding it. The minimum age to retire in Brazil is around 60+ years old. However, the real issue is the reforms instituted by Ex-President Tamen and the economic decline of the state. Pensions from the Retirement are not being paid in full and its made people lose faith in the system. Lots of people have received pensions since the dictatorship era. It goes to show that the issue with pensions is far more complicated than how it works in America.


Notes/Movie Discussion (BRIEF):

Today we also talked about the Movie we watched on Sunday (and Monday for others) about Madame Satã. We discussed important concepts that were presented in the film such as the identity of João, which involves concepts of race, sexual orientation, “queerness.” The dynamic of culture back then was very different from our own and especially during the 1930s. But otherwise, all it really was about the movie and very notable/specific things that we saw and thought about. This even goes to thinking about where the camera shots were taken and thinking how the characters relate to the greater cultural thought at the time.

Wikipedia Project Update: Balaiada Revolt Changing

For my project, it seems I have a little bit of trouble finding adequate English sources for the Balaiada Revolt. So I’m going to be changing to something around the Vargas Era and discussing with Professor Holt about what exactly that will entail. The Vargas Era is quite interesting and I am certain that there will be plenty of more sources than the previous project idea. There is plenty of interesting events that had occurred in the Vargas era that deserve their own articles. An example of that would possibly the period of friendship between the Integralists and the Communist parties. But overall, I’m still trying to formulate an idea of what I will be doing.

Sorry for posting late, I’m a little bit sick.

Wikipedia Post That I want to Research (possibly)

For my Wikipedia Project, I wanted to write something involving a war or battle that Brazil was apart of. So, I searched on Wikipedia for articles either in need of “repair” or others that simply do not exist at all. Then I came across an article called the Balaiada Revolt. It was this slave/poor farmers revolt that tried to change the mass cotton exportations. Ultimately the rebellion was crushed but supposedly it may have had effects on the Emperors stance to slavery.

I find wars and conflicts to be quite interesting. In Colonial Latin America, I had written about the Battle of Racangua and I think it would be interesting to try and find a battle that happened in this revolt. So part of this project I want to try is to find some battle and write about it as a stretch goal for the Wikipedia article .

The article itself is quite small with 3-4 sections that aren’t fully fledged out. There is also one image in the article but that seems to be fine. As it is pertaining to the battle.  The sources used in it seem to be adequate but it does not appear to have any actual primary sources. That is going to be the challenge for this article.

So, for this Wikipedia project, I am going to use some of the sources provided in the article as well some articles from our library. Those being (in order) Balaiada, Elite Politics and Popular Rebellion in the Construction of Post-Colonial Order. The Case of Maranhao, Brazil (1820-41). Unfortunately finding primary sources pertaining to the conflict is rather difficult as I do not speak Portuguese and I cannot find them in our system.

Any feedback or other article recommendations would be appreciated for the project.


Brazil Culture and History Post: Japanese Population in Sao Paulo

For this Brazil Culture and History Post, I wanted to talk about a population in Brazil that is considered one of the more recent groups of people that immigrated to Brazil. That being, the Japanese (specifically from Okinawa). Marina had mentioned that in Brazil, there was a population of people of Asian descent that live there. I wanted to find more information because the topic is interesting and I could relate it to another class (Intro to East Asia with Professor Bonk) and find out why it had occurred

eople dance samba at an event where members of the Japanese community gathered to watch the FIFA 2013 Confederation Cup inauguration match between Brazil and Japan at a community center in the neighbourhood of Liberdade in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 15, 2013

  • Brazilian Samba and Japanese dance traditions interacting in Sao Paulo.

This led me to a BBC article called “A Little Corner of Brazil that is forever Okinawa” and it talks about the Japanese population in the Liberdale district of Sao Paulo. In the article, it discusses how this “Brazilian-Japanese” culture formed when the settlers had been living in Brazil for about 50 or so years. Another interesting thing is they managed to preserve their original language of Okinawan, even after their original homeland (Okinawa/Ryukyu) was annexed and culturally/linguistically forever changed during the 1870s by the Japanese Empire. Other cultural things were mentioned in the article such as Japanese Food becoming popular and Shintoist symbols being present on some streets in Sao Paulo.

People are seen outside a restaurant at Liberdade, a central Sao Paulo neighbourhood with a high concentration of Japanese descendants on June 14, 2014. Brazil has the biggest community of Japanese descendants in the world outside of Japan, estimated at 1.5 million people.

  • Japanese restaurant in Sao Paulo

Women are seen at Liberdade, a central Sao Paulo neighbourhood with a high concentration of Japanese descendants, on June 14, 2014.

  • “Torii” or Shinto Archway in Sao Paulo.

This can relate to the class by the ideas that Brazil is pretty much this super diverse country. It has a large number of different kinds of people that all come from different stages of history. From Africans and Europeans to Asians, Brazil is home to all kinds of people. The topic is really in-depth and there is an interesting history between Brazil and Japan.



Article Source:


Religion in Brazil Wikipedia Critique

For the Wikipedia Article called “Religion in Brazil,” I noticed that there is a lot of problems with citations. An instance of this occurring would be the sections about minority religions present in Brazil. I recall from the Wikipedia training session I did during the Colonial Latin America class, that you need to cite all information you put into Wikipedia. In the sections of minority religions, they are providing numbers and events without any type of source to back those claims. The language used in the Buddhism category is not straight to the point. The person who wrote this stated that it was “probably the largest of all minority religions”. It is either the largest or not the largest. That is only one example so far of encountering that.

Otherwise, aside from not citing everything, the table at the bottom of the page seems to me that it’s trying to give people in Brazil religious groups. I understand the importance of this, but it seems to be incredibly number heavy and it is from the year 2000. So the numbers could have changed since 18 years have gone by. The Talk Page of the article was quite short but I feel that they had improved the article from its original state.

Besides me hyper critiquing the article, I did find it interesting that there is a large number of minority religions. Some of which I never heard of such as the Baha’i Faith. The Afro-Brazilian polytheistic religions also have names and some even have their own Wikipedia pages. Which got me reading other Wikipedia articles about them and learning something that I did not know before.