Durham, NC, January 25, 2017 – On Friday, February 17, the Global Brazil Lab of the Franklin Humanities Institute will host its annual Global Brazil Conference co-sponsored by Duke Brazil Initiative (DBI). In its third year, the conference brings together leading scholars to generate new conversations between the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
The 2017 conference highlights three main themes–politics, nature, and culture–and showcases scholars from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Madison, Tulane University and Duke University. A series of panel discussions including students and faculty will expand upon lines of inquiry highlighted in the keynotes. The conference will be held in the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall in the Smith Warehouse close to East Campus.
The first session will focus on the increasing political and policy salience of race with a talk by the President elect of the Brazilian Studies Association, Dr. Gladys L Mitchell-Walthour from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The panel that follows includes presentations on the Bass Connections project on higher education, the impeachment of Brazilian president, and changing policies granting increased legal rights to domestic servants.
The second session will showcase research by Dr. Christine Folch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke and Co-Director at Global Brazil Lab and DBI, on Itaipú Hydroelectric Dam (Brazil-Paraguay) and the long term sustainability of renewable energy-led development, which Folch describes “a game-changer in both Brazil and Paraguay as well as the region and a unique opportunity for Duke students to spearhead pragmatic policy-oriented research.” Dr. Jacob Blanc of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will lecture on the local impact of the dam.
Shifting to culture, the arts, and politics in the third session, Dr. Christopher Dunn of Tulane University will speak about the counterculture that emerged in opposition to Brazil’s authoritarian regime of the 1960s and 70s. The lecture will be followed by a conversation with Co-Director Dr. Esther Gabara, E. Blake Bryne Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke. Dunn and Gabara will discuss counterculture and Pop art of the period, the topic of a major international exhibit she is curating for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke.
The conference will conclude with a Brazilian musical presentation and reception.
Speaking of the lineup for this year’s conference, Dr. John French, Co-Director of the Global Brazil Lab and DBI highlighted the “exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue and debate between graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and the Brazil-interested community of the Triangle. All are welcome.”
About the conference sponsors: Created in 2014 with support from the Humanities Writ Large grant from the Mellon Foundation, the FHI Global Brazil Humanities Lab fosters interdisciplinary research and collaboration among students and faculty across humanities disciplines. It works closely with the Duke Brazil Initiative, supported since 2012 by the Office of Global Affairs, to deepen connections with Brazil through faculty and student exchanges and research while hosting leading Brazilian scholars, public officials and artists to Duke.