Department of Spanish and Portuguese – Fall 2014
Portuguese 535 – Brazilian Literature
Instructor and Director of the Portuguese Program:
Prof. Ricardo Vasconcelos
[email protected]; Arts and Letters 113; 619 594-1678.
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2 PM – 2:50 PM, or by appointment.
As described in the SDSU Catalog of Courses, Portuguese 535 is a course dedicated to
“Important movements, authors, and works of the literature of Brazil”. This semester the course
is dedicated to “Encontros Culturais,” and in it we will study three main areas, defined by
thematic and/or regional affinities: 1) “A chegada dos portugueses, o indígena e o imaginário da
antropofagia”; 2) “Utopias e distopias da cidade”; 3) “O Nordeste e o Sertão”.
These thematic areas will be explored through different perspectives that touch on many
topics, namely those of national and racial identity, slavery, segregation, miscegenation, political
memory, economic asymmetries.
By the end of the course students will:
1. will recognize and systematize characteristics of key works, authors, and literary
periods in Brazilian literature, namely Naturalism, Modernism and Neo-Realism, as well as
notions of literary rhetoric and analysis that are fundamental to understand them;
2. will characterize key periods of social change in Brazilian society, and assess the
relations between the literary works read and these moments;
3. will communicate, orally and in written, at the advanced-mid level in Portuguese, as
per ACTFL guidelines (applicable to Portuguese Minors only). Graduate students from other
programs will have developed a reading knowledge of Portuguese.
You are required to acquire for this course both a reader and two novels. The reader is available
at Montezuma Publishing, and the two novels at Aztec Bookstore. In the reader you will find a
number of literary texts, as well as texts taken from essays on Brazilian literary history and
culture. The complete list of sources is provided after the detailed calendar, at the end of this
syllabus, and is also integrated in the reader.
The two required novels are the following:
Amado, Jorge. Capitães da areia. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2008. (ISBN:
85359111693; 9788535911695).
Azevedo, Aluísio. O cortiço. Pref. Paulo Franchetti, ed. e notas Leila Guenther. São Paulo.
Ateliê Editorial, 2012. Impresso. (ISBN: 8574805793; 9788574805795)
During the course of the semester, your professor will provide accessory reading assignments,
namely through Blackboard.
1. Homework (readings and comprehension questions): Students will read in advance for
each class the literary works or excerpts indicated in the calendar. They will also answer a set of
interpretation questions posted in advance on Blackboard, so as to prepare for class discussions.
These answers will be used in class discussion, and the instructor may collect them to grade and
provide feedback.
2. Participation: Your participation grade reflects a number of items, such as volunteering
answers, answering all questions when called on, cooperating in group and pair work, preparing
all readings in advance, arriving timely to class. You will be asked to assess your participation
and your instructor will give you feedback on it, as well as provide his/her own assessment,
which is the one that will be factored into your grade.
3. Individual Presentations: Each student will give three 10-minute presentation on a topic
related to the class reading assignment for that day. Each student is expected to speak
spontaneously (i.e., not read a text but use a basic script/notes) for about 5 minutes, and the
presentation will be followed by a question/answer period also of about 5 minutes. For this
question/answer period, the presenter should prepare 2 questions for the class. All students are
expected to ask at least 4 questions of presenters during the semester. A sign-up sheet will be
passed out on the first day of class, for students to choose the dates of their presentations.
4. Exams and Papers: Undergraduate Students only Undergraduate students will complete two in-class exams and one paper. The exams will be
largely based on the topics of discussion, and you should prepare yourself by completing all
readings and homework, reviewing the instructor’s assessment, and engaging in class debates.
The paper will be dedicated to the study of the second novel, Capitães da areia. Detailed
guidelines about the format and evaluation of the papers are provided on Blackboard.
Graduate Students only Graduate students will write 3 response papers on the literary works read (5 pages), as per the
dates in the detailed calendar, and a 12 to 15-page research final paper. Detailed guidelines about
the format and evaluation of the papers are provided on Blackboard. Note that graduate students
in the Spanish MA / Latin American MA will be expected to write their essays in Spanish.
For instructions on the MLA style, which will be required in papers, consult the MLA Handbook
for Writers of Research Papers (7th Ed. New York: 2009). For a fast reference, consult the online
resources available at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
5. Grade breakdown: Undergraduates
MA Graduates
• Homework – 10%
• Participation – 10%
• Presentations – 15%
• 2 exams – 40%
• 1 paper – 25%
• Homework – 15%
• Presentations – 15%
• 3 response papers – 45 %
• Final paper (12 to 15 pages) – 25 %
[Written work developed in Spanish]
6. Attendance: As per SDSU policies, there is no specific penalty for absences from class.
However, students should be aware that absenteeism directly affects their participation (and
necessarily their student participation grade) and more importantly the development of
knowledge that arises from class discussions. You are investing time and money to be in this
class – don't take your yourself away from it!
1. Academic Conduct and Integrity: Students are expected to follow SDSU’s code of
academic conduct. This class requires that you familiarize yourself with the section on “Cheating
and Plagiarism” in SDSU’s University Policies (http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/catalog/201213/graduate/parts/060-070_University%20Policies.pdf; pages 66-67). The infringement of these
rules will lead to the disciplinary actions described therein. You can also get more information
about these in the website of SDSU Center for Student Right and Responsibilities
2. Electronic Devices: All cellular phones, IPods, etc. must be turned off during class time.
Flashing cell phones, vibration mode, text-messaging, etc. are not OK. You are investing time
and money to be in this class – please don't take your mind away from it.
3. Students with Disabilities: If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need
accommodations for this class, it is your responsibility to contact Student Disability Services
at (619) 594-6473. To avoid any delay in the receipt of your accommodations, you should
contact Student Disability Services as soon as possible. Please note that accommodations are not
retroactive, and that accommodations based upon disability cannot be provided until you have
presented your instructor with an accommodation letter from Student Disability Services. Your
cooperation is appreciated.
4. Usage and Style of Email Messages: Learning how to write polite and professional e-mail
messages in Portuguese is considered an integral part of the course. Therefore only emails
written in Portuguese according to the style requirements explained below will be answered
(students in the Spanish MA can of course write in Spanish or English). All emergency messages
written in English will of course be given full attention. Your instructor will check his e-mail
messages once every workday; hence, you can expect an answer from him between 24 and 48
hours after you have sent him an email (except for weekends). Take this opportunity to learn the
courteous greeting and salutation expressions in Portuguese that are adequate to the recipient of
your message, as described below:
Choose an appropriate subject heading that describes the content of your email.
Begin your message with:
“Bom dia / Boa tarde, Professor Vasconcelos / Professor Ricardo:” (neutral)
“Prezado Professor Vasconcelos:” (formal)
“Olá, Sofia:” (very informal yet polite; make sure that your instructor is OK with an informal
*Note that a colon (“:”), rather than a comma, is normally used after the greeting.
In the main body of the text, summarize in Portuguese your question, concern, or information.
End your message with:
“Atentamente” (neutral, professional)
“Saudações cordiais” (neutral, professional)
“Agradeço desde já a sua melhor atenção para esta mensagem. Atentamente,” (very formal; the
first part is used if your message contained a question or a request)
“Cordialmente” (professional but friendly)
“Até breve” (friendly)
“Um abraço / Um beijo” (very friendly, only if you know the person very well).
Then write your name.
Com exceção O cortiço e Capitães da areia, os outros textos estão disponíveis na apostila
(course reader).
26 de agosto
Apresentação do programa
28 de agosto
Pêro Vaz de Caminha. Carta do achamento do
“Encontros e Desencontros: a chegada dos
portugueses, a imagem do indígena e o
imaginário da antropofagia”
Pêro Vaz de Caminha. Carta do achamento do
Brasil (leitura na aula).
2 de setembro
José de Alencar. Excerto de O Guarani.
4 de setembro
Oswald de Andrade. “Manifesto da poesia pau
9 de setembro
Oswald de Andrade. “Manifesto Antropófago”.
11 de setembro
Oswald de Andrade. “Manifesto Antropófago”.
16 setembro
Mário de Andrade. Excerto de Macunaíma.
18 de setembro
Exame 1 (undergrad.).
Entrega do primeiro ensaio (Span. MA).
23 de setembro
“Utopias e distopias da cidade”
25 de setembro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
(Reunião com estudantes de mestrado de
espanhol para discutir ensaios.
30 de setembro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
2 de outubro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
7 de outubro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
9 de outubro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
14 de outubro
Aluísio Azevedo. O cortiço.
16 de outubro
Machado de Assis. “Pai contra mãe”.
21 de outubro
Patrícia Galvão. Excerto de Parque industrial.
23 de outubro
Rubem Fonseca. “Feliz ano novo”.
28 de outubro
Exame 2 (undergraduates).
Entrega do ensaio 2 (Span. MA).
30 de outubro
“O Nordeste e o Sertão”
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
4 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
(Reunião com estudantes de mestrado de
espanhol para discutir ensaios.)
6 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
13 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
18 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
20 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
25 de novembro
Jorge Amado. Capitães da areia.
2 de dezembro
Euclides da Cunha. Excerto de Os sertões.
4 de dezembro
João Cabral de Melo Neto. Sel. de poemas.
Ver: Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, de Glauber
(Reunião com estudantes de graduação e de
mestrado para discutir ensaios.)
Entregar rascunho do ensaio (Underg.)
Entrega do ensaio 3 (Span. MA).
9 de dezembro
Salgado Maranhão. Sel. de poemas.
Entrevista virtual ao autor (Skype).
11 de dezembro
Resumo e conclusão do curso,
Crónicas variadas.
Entrega de ensaios (Turnitin).
VII. Reader Sources
Almino, João. As cinco estações do amor. Rio de Janeiro: Record. 2001. Impresso.
Andrade, Oswald de. A utopia antropofágica. São Paulo: Ed. Globo, 2000. Impresso.
Andrade, Mário de. Macunaíma – O herói sem nenhum caráter. Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 2008.
Assis, Machado de. 50 Contos. Sel. John Gledson. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. 2007.
---. Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas. Ed. Antônio Medina Rodrigues. São Paulo. Ateliê
Editorial, 2012. Impresso.
Azevedo, Aluísio. O cortiço. Pref. Paulo Franchetti, ed. e notas Leila Guenther. São Paulo.
Ateliê Editorial, 2012. Impresso.
Bettencourt, Lúcia. A secretária de Borges – Contos. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2006. Impresso.
Bosi, Alfredo. História concisa da literatura brasileira. 33.a São Paulo: Cultrix, 1994. Impresso.
Caminha, Pêro Vaz de. Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha a El-Rei D. Manuel sobre o achamento
do Brasil. Ed. Ana Maria Azevedo, Neves Águas e Maria Paulo Caetano. Mem Martins:
Publ. Europa-América, 2000. Impresso.
Fonseca, Rubem. Feliz ano novo. Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 2010. Impresso.
Galvão, Patrícia. Parque industrial. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 2006. Impresso.
Maranhão, Salgado. A cor da palavra. Rio de Janeiro: Imago / Fundação Biblioteca Nacional,
2009. Impresso.
Moisés, Massaud. A literatura brasileira através dos textos. 23.a Ed. São Paulo: Cultrix, 2002.
Neto, João Cabral de Melo. Poesia completa. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, 1986.
VIII. Recommended Histories of Brazil and Portugal
Disney. A. R. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. Vol. II – Portugal. Cambridge:
Cambridge UP, 2009. Print.
---. A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. Vol. II – The Portuguese Empire.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Print.
Fausto, Boris. A Concise History of Brazil. Trans. Arthur Brakel. New York: Cambridge UP,
1999. Print.
Skidmore, Thomas. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford UP, 2010.
Saraiva, José Hermano. Portugal – A Companion History. Manchester: Carcanet, 1997. Print.
Marques, A. H. Oliveira. History of Portugal. New York: Columbia UP, 1976. Print.
Please take responsibility for the energy you bring to the classroom. As with any class, what you
put into it has an implication in what you get out of it. This is a class for those who are willing to
put the time, energy, effort, and most importantly a good attitude into their learning!

1 As described in the SDSU Catalog of Courses, Portuguese 535 is