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Brazilian Literature: Twentieth-Century Urban Fiction

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

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.

Dates: June 17—July 12 (4 weeks)
Director(s): David W. Foster
Grantee Institutions: Arizona State University
Location: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre, Brazil

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.