A four-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty, in São Paolo, to study literature that reflects Brazil's dynamic and increasingly urban culture.
David Foster (Arizona State University) directs a study of Brazilian urban novels as representative of the complexity of twentieth-century urban culture in the country. This program is his first since the publication of his book, São Paolo: Perspectives on the City and Cultural Production (2011). Concentrating on four cities, the seminar begins with Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis' Dom Casmurro (1899), set in Rio de Janeiro. Next, participants read about São Paulo in Patricia Galvão's Industrial Park (1933) and then about the Garden City of Curitiba in The Vampire of Curitiba (1965) by Dalton Trevisan. After reading Moacyr Scliar's The Centaur in the Garden (1980), which takes place in Porto Alegra, participants return to Rio with Clarice Lispector's Family Ties (1960). The possibility of meetings with writers in São Paolo provides a contemporary view of urban life. Optional study of Portuguese has been arranged. Expected products of the seminar are revised syllabi, courses in Portuguese, several publications, and an active listserve.