Category Archives: Student Research

I.S. Symposium

Dylan Pederson:

The first I.S. presentation I went to was Dylan Pederson’s: One God, One Race, One Tongue: A Study of Racial Inequality in Colombia. His presentation was a study of forced displacement in Colombia due to military intervention created by the Colombian and U.S. government. He discussed many aspects of the issues, from personal interviews to inter/national policies and groups both helping and harming the citizens. I believe that his information was well-founded as he not only included the destruction from the Colombian government but also the U.S. government. However, I think his presentation style made the information seem uneasy. He paused in wrong place and seemed to put more focus on what seemed to not be the focus of his argument. I do believe that he portrayed the issues of the oppressed group well.


Marina Dias Lucena Adams:

The second Latin American I.S. presentation I attended was Marina’s presentation on the Movimento Feminino pela Anistia during the military coup of 1964. Her argument was that while the group was a very powerful political group made up of woman, it cannot be defined as a feminist organization. She defended this by showing the very traditional gender roles enforced by the group and the fact that feminist groups that began after the end of this movement did not claim the group. Marina showed a very balanced view of the group; without insulting the group and acknowledging their work as beneficial to the country, she also stated her opposing view of the group.

Research Project on Brazil’s lack of Environmental Control

My research project will be a study of the lack of environmental control in the present and past within Brazil. I intend to continue on from my History & Culture blog post on deforestation and will bring the building of dams and their harm to river systems into the picture as well. The environmental degradation I find caused by deforestation and dams will be a large portion of my evidence for the lack of environmental control. Additionally, I plan on looking into Brazil’s environmental policies of the past and present to see if any changes have been made.

I want to dig deeper into deforestation than my History & Culture blog post did. I don’t think I was able to get a good idea of how much of the Amazon is missing today in 2018. Rather, I was only able to find the damage ten years ago, and I believe it will be a lot worse now. Additionally, I want to know which industry has caused the most damage to the forest, and why they needed the extra land. Furthermore, I will find evidence of the biological damage in the Amazon that deforestation has caused. Lastly, I want to see what restoration efforts are being made for the forest other than the proposal of planting 73 million trees, which I talked about in my previous post.

Also, I will study Dams because in theory they are a great renewable source of energy through hydraulic power, and have become very popular in most countries throughout the world, including Brazil. However, they act as a barrier between different sections of the river which causes major environmental issues. I intend to find out how many dams have been built on Brazil’s major rivers, and what damage they have caused to them. I indent on finding evidence of biological damage in the river brought forth from the dams.

For the final section of my research project, I will look into the environmental policies of the past in Brazil to see how so much environmental damage was allowed. I will identify the loop-holes Brazilian industry found in these policies. I also think the direct connection between the rate of deforestation and Brazil’s economic status is very significant. This will most likely become a large part of my project as well. Lastly, I will observe Brazil’s current environmental policies to see what changes they have made and if they have been effective.

I believe the lack of environmental control in Brazil is important to the countries history because it is representative of the high abundance corruption that takes place in Brazil, as well as the overall lack of control Brazil’s citizens have on their leaders.


Fearnside, Philip M. “Soybean Cultivation as a Threat to the Environment in Brazil.” Environmental Conservation, vol. 28, no. 1, 2001, pp. 23–38., doi:10.1017/S0376892901000030.

Butt, N., P. A. de Oliveira, and M. H. Costa (2011), Evidence that deforestation affects the onset of the rainy season in Rondonia, Brazil, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D11120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015174.

Agostinho, A. A., et al. “Dams and the Fish Fauna of the Neotropical Region: Impacts and Management Related to Diversity and Fisheries.” Brazilian Journal of Biology, vol. 68, no. 4, Nov. 2008, pp. 1119–32. SciELO, doi:10.1590/S1519-69842008000500019.

Fearnside, Philip M. “Deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia: History, Rates, and Consequences.” Conservation Biology, vol. 19, no. 3, June 2005, pp. 680–88. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00697.x.

Fearnside, Philip M. “Soybean Cultivation as a Threat to the Environment in Brazil.” Environmental Conservation, vol. 28, no. 1, Mar. 2001, pp. 23–38. Cambridge Core, doi:10.1017/S0376892901000030.

Romig, Bradley S. “Agriculture in Brazil and Its Effect on Deforestation and the Landless Movement: A Government’s Attempt to Balance Agricultural Success and Social Collateral Damage Note.” Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, vol. 11, 2006, pp. 81–106.

Arima, Eugenio Y., et al. “Public Policies Can Reduce Tropical Deforestation: Lessons and Challenges from Brazil.” Land Use Policy, vol. 41, Nov. 2014, pp. 465–73. ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.06.026.

Research Project Blog Post: Football

European football (soccer) plays a prominent role in Brazil. The sport undoubtedly contributes a major portion in representing the nation’s cultural identity. According to FIFA, an international organization that oversees and governs global soccer trends, the Brazilian national soccer team ranked the second highest place in the world as of 2018. The team won five championships in the world cup, coming in as the team with the most titles. Interestingly, the team comprises of talented players with various ethnic backgrounds that show a wide variety of races. For instance, Neymar da Silva Santos, a worldly renown football player at Paris Saint Germain, identifies himself as a Brazilian yet comes from a dual heritage of African and Amerindian. In contrast, David Luiz, a famous football player at FC Chelsea, possesses both African and Portuguese genes. Regardless of their backgrounds, the national team performs excellent teamwork as a whole. Based on these observations, I believe the Brazilian national team signifies a larger historical theme that conveys racial diversity in Brazil.

In Brazil, cultural richness combines with racial diversity. With its profound history of colonization and immigration, the country produces a diverse environment under a unified nation. In the sixteenth century, the European dominance forcefully brought western cultures while the oppression begot African or indigenous cultures. Through constant adaptations, Brazil established a strong cultural foundation that conveys diverse yet unique ideas. For instance, Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, originated from African slave communities as a protection tool, which later transformed to a globalized art form with thousands of foreign practitioners. Soccer, although not strictly Brazilian, underwent a similar process as Capoeira in which the sport was introduced by European immigrants but was reinvented as a new form of culture in Brazil. Historians define this cultural adaptation as transculturation, a phenomenon of merging and converging cultures. Thus, this research project primarily considers transculturation as the essential component in defining soccer as the product of cultural adaptation that adds a new dimension to understanding Brazilian history, and further focuses on the correlation between race and culture in Brazil.

Brazil’s national soccer team poses for pictures prior to a friendly soccer match against Panama at the Serra Dourada stadium in Goiania, Brazil, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Back row, from left: Dante, Fred, David Luiz, goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Luiz Gustavo; first row from left: Oscar, Daniel Alves, Neymar, Ramires, Marcelo, and Hulk. Brazil is preparing for the World Cup soccer tournament that starts on 12 June. Brazil won the match 4-0. (AP Photo/Andre Penner) ORG XMIT: XAP124

Through this research project, I hope to discover how racial diversity and cultural adaption have interacted to produce national identity. In a broader perspective, this project will show how football in Brazil serves as historical evidence that indicates cultural expansion. Moreover, it is important to recognize football in understanding Brazilian history because the sport reflects the process of how race intertwines with cultural ideas in Brazil. Europeans’ forced recruitment of African slaves and their diplomatic relationship with the indigenous tribes in the sixteenth century fostered racial diversity within the nation. Furthermore, interracial marriages expanded the scope of racial categories in Brazil. However, this social expansion has organized under unified cultural and political ideologies. Despite the prevalent issue of racial inequality in Brazil, the national soccer team exemplifies this social expansion. Furthermore, football brings Brazilians together through creating an invisible social framework—Imagined Community—that establishes an inclusive environment among the people. Thus, football is crucial to recognize because it functions as an example of how the nation handles racial diversity through promoting popular cultures.

I plan to examine three primary sources and four secondary sources for this project. Consider the list of sources presented below this paragraph for feedback. Primary sources referred in this research consist of two interviews given by Neymar and Ronaldo, and an image of the Brazilian national soccer team to convey issues of race such as diversity, discrimination, identity, and mobilization across football culture in Brazil. Moreover, scholarly sources will provide an overall background of football trends in Brazil. Roger Kittleson argues that the Brazilian football style has absorbed popular Brazilian cultures such as Samba and carnivals, as the sport was strongly advocated by African Brazilians. Kittleson notes social mobility within football culture attracts racial minorities, as the sport is strictly based on individual’s talent not his or her race. Kittleson further views transculturation as an integral factor in adapting European football in Brazil. Janet Lever expands Kittleson’s idea through taking account of soccer as a nation-wide obsession that sets social and cultural norms in Brazil. As this research focuses on linking culture with race, two articles addressing two Brazilian football players (Ronaldo and Kaka), each identified as Afro and European Brazilian, will be examined throughout this project. Both scholars discuss various cultural impacts soccer players produce in Brazil, which are influenced by race.

Primary Sources

“Brazil National Team.” Digital image. Accessed February 13, 2018. national soccer team&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS782US782&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ah UKEwjLv5qNqaPZAhWl3YMKHVAnBa0Q_AUICygC&biw=1440&bih=803#imgrc =ptRPI34884ZlTM:.

“Brazil: The ideology of “whitening” and the struggle for a black identity.” Black Women of Brazil. May 09, 2013. Accessed February 13, 2018. https:// the- struggle-for-a-black-identity/.

“Neymar Jr, Brazilian Racism and The World Cup of Football (soccer).” The Corn Dealers House. July 30, 2014. Accessed February 13, 2018. https:// of-football-soccer/.

Secondary Sources

Kittleson, Roger Alan. The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil. Vol. 2. Univ of California Press, 2014.

Kulick, Don. “Soccer, Sex and Scandal in Brazil.” Anthropology Now 1, no. 3 (2009): 32-42.

Lever, Janet. “Soccer as a Brazilian Way of Life.” Games, Sport and Power, ed. Gregory P. Stone 156 (1972): 138-159.

Jones, Jeremy V. Toward the Goal, Revised Edition: The Kaká Story. Zonderkidz, 2014.

Research Project Blog

Many aspects of Brazilian life drastically changed under the rule of Getulio Vargas and his “Estado Novo.” In my previous studies here at the College, I have learned about different dictatorships throughout the world and I have always found gender roles during these times very interesting. I decided to conduct my research on the role and expectations of women under Vargas. In my previous Spanish classes, I have studied the expectations of women under the rule of Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco and I believe that it would be interesting to see how women under Vargas compare and contrast in this regard. Also, I believe that my major in Political Science will provide a political background that is important when looking at such a politicized time period.

In my research I hope to look at the portrayal of women by the state as well as the political, social, and cultural expectations of women during this time period. I believe that through the analysis of both primary and secondary sources, I will be able to capture a full picture of the role women played in the dictatorship. Also, I think that it will be interesting to look at the progression of political rights that occurred. I know that during this time, women gained the right to vote and would like to study the progression that led to this political advance.

The role of women in Vargas’ “Estado Novo” is important because it still effects women in modern Brazil. To fully understand the modern portrayals and expectations of women in Brazil today, it is important to first study the history that led to the modern state. Through my research I hope to be able to learn more about the history of women’s rights in Brazil and how it compares to the US as well as other countries.

Luckily for this topic, we will be discussing gender roles under the dictatorship briefly in class and the Brazil Reader offers many primary sources from the era. For primary sources, I plan to utilize many different primary sources from the era. I am currently working on trying to find pictures that I could analyze as primary sources, but as of right now many of my sources come from the Brazil Reader. Some of these sources include a speech given by Vargas himself as well as first-hand accounts from women living under Vargas.

Secondary Sources:

From class:

“Norma Fraga: Race Class Education and the Estado Novo” by Jerry Davila

“Unskilled Workers, Skilled Housewife” by Barbara Weinstein

Outside sources found:

Barros, Gelka. “BELA E SADIA! A MULHER NAS PÁGINAS DA REVISTA ALTEROSA (1939-1945) DURANTE O ESTADO NOVO E O PROCESSO DE AMERICANIZAÇÃO DO BRASIL.” Comunicação E Sociedade 32, (July 2017): 191-209. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 13, 2018).

Joel Wolfe, “From Working Mothers to Housewives” in Gender and Populism in Latin America:  Passionate Politics ed. Karen Kampwirth. Penn State Press, 2010. 

Primary Sources:

de Masi Zero, Joana, “Ordinary People: Five Lives Affected by Vargas-Era Reforms” in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p.218-221.

Vargas, Getulio, “New Year’s Address” in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p. 186-189.

Galvao, Patricia, “Where They Talk about Rosa Luxemburg”in The Brazil Reader eds. Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, p.166-171.


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.