Literature and Urgency in Brazil

Literature and Urgency in Brazil, Dr Rachel Esteves Lima, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil, May 29, 2019. 

Rachel Lima Cartaz event


The lecture aims to present and discuss how literature has been reacting to political events in Brazil since 2013, especially the “Jornadas de Junho” (The June Unrest), the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and the arrest of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. We will emphasise, among the books that take on politics with a capital P as their theme, the collective works that invest, in a risky and potential way, in the politicisation of aesthetics, leaving purisms and differences aside in order to, in the heat of events, collect texts from several genres, discursive regimes, aesthetic projects and media as a form of intervention in contemporary Brazilian reality.


Rachel Esteves Lima is Professor of Brazilian Literature at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), with postdoctoral studies at the Paris XIII University (2011), a Ph.D. in Literary Studies / Comparative Literature (1997) at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and an M. A. in Literary Studies / Brazilian Literature (1987) also at UFMG. She edited the books A Antropofagia na era da globalização (EDUFBA, 2016) and O espaço biográfico: perspectivas interdisciplinares (EDUFBA, 2016) and is author of several articles in specialized periodicals, in the field of literature. She is coordinator of the Study Group on Criticism and Contemporary Culture (UFBA) and a CNPq researcher. In her present-day postdoctoral studies at the University of Bologna, she is conducting a research project titled “The June 2013 enigma: repercussions of political demonstrations in Brazilian literature and cinema”.

Digital Culture and Public Security in Rio de Janeiro

Digital Culture and Public Security in Rio de Janeiro, Dr Tori Holmes Queen’s University, Belfast, November 2, 2018.

Digital Culture and Public Society in Rio de Janeiro event


This presentation will discuss the intersection of digital culture and public security in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, or how digital technologies and the internet are used by individual residents and civil society groups and organisations to produce and circulate digital content offering a critical perspective on policing and armed violence. It will first chart the evolution and development of this area of activity through different examples or cases from the past ten years, thereby also tracking shifts in both digital culture and public security over this period. It will then turn to a discussion of contemporary ‘data activism’ initiatives (van der Velden and Milan 2016), set up in recent years to compile, collate, and circulate specifically quantitative data on armed violence and the impact of government public security policies in Rio, including through digital infographics made available via websites, reports, social media profiles, and mobile phone applications. Considering both textual and visual dimensions of such data and its presentation in infographics, the paper will explore how digital technologies are being employed to make visible ‘alternative epistemologies’ (van der Velden and Milan 2016) of public security in the city. 


Tori Holmes is Lecturer in Brazilian Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her main research interests are in digital culture and the texts and practices of urban representation in Brazil, particularly relating to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. She has worked on blogging by favela residents and webdocumentaries relating to urban change in Rio during the city’s preparations to host the recent World Cup and Olympics. Her current research focuses on data activism relating to public security in Rio.  Tori has broader interests in Brazilian documentary and audiovisual production, as well as digital ethnography and ethical and methodological issues in interdisciplinary research. She is one of the founders of REBRAC (European Network of Brazilianists working in Cultural Analysis).

Chico Buarque: Recortes e Passagens

Presentation of the book Chico Buarque: Recortes e Passagens by the author Ana Maria Clark Peres and film screening of Miguel Faria Junior’s Chico: Artista Brasileiro (2015). In collaboration with Centro cultural Brasileiro Tres, Nuance & Brésil and Brazilian Embassy, 12th October 2018.

On Chico Buarque event


Ana Maria Clark Peres is a lecturer in Brazilian literature at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. She has developed postdoc researches in Brazilian literature at Universidade de São Paulo and in comparative literature at Université Paris 8. Her research title in Université Paris 8 was Poetry Lines of Modernity: Literature and Psychoanalysis. Since 2008, she has been conducting successive researches on the work of Chico Buarque, publishing book chapters and articles in specialized publications in Brazil and France. She also has presented her researches results in conferences and seminars in Canada, France, England, Germany, Turkey, Cyprus, and Portugal. In 2017, she has been invited to participate in an event to celebrate the life and work of Chico Buarque, promoted by the Brazilian Embassy in Paris.

War, Elections and the Imperial Council of State: State-Making and Politics during the Triple Alliance War

War, Elections and the Imperial Council of State: State-Making and Politics during the Triple Alliance War,  Vitor lzecksohn, associate professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, March 15, 2018.

Vitor lZecksohn seminar UCC


During the Paraguayan War (1864-1870), the Brazilian Empire continued to hold elections at all levels, as mandated by the Constitution, despite wartime stresses around recruitment for the army and navy. An exception to this took place in 1867, during efforts to create a new army corps in the frontier province of Rio Grande do Sul. The Council of State (an influential body advising Emperor Pedro II) recommended canceling elections in the province, an extreme measure taken to ensure that there would be no protests against conscription in the most militarized Brazilian province. In this seminar, In this presentation, based on a new book, I analyze the rationale behind the councilors’ recommendation, and alternative courses of action considering the strains faced by that region during the third year of the campaign against Paraguay. It addresses the political debates about military recruitment from the standpoint of Imperial authorities` impressions. It focuses on their approach to the country’s problems during the worst period of the Paraguayan War. Finally, it  describes the steps taken by the National Guard Commanders to activate the recruitment.


Vitor Izecksohn is an associate professor at the Graduate Program of Social History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He earned his PhD in History by the University of New Hampshire. He did his postdoc at Brown University where he also served as a visiting professor under a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011. He was a fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (New York Historical Society) and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale University).He was also a fellow at the John Carter Brown Library (2017). He is the author of, Slavery and War in the Americas: Race, Citizenship, and State Building in the United States and Brazil, 1861-1870 (University of Virginia Press, 2014), as well as two earlier books published in Brazil: A History of the Brazilian Liberal Political Though in the Twentieth Century (1990), and The Chorus of Disagreement: The Paraguayan War and the Professional Nucleus of the Brazilian Corps of Officers (2002). He co-authored Nova História Militar Brasileira (New Brazilian Military History, 2004). These books, along with his chapters and journal articles, engage in renewed debates about the New Brazilian Military History and the process of internationalization in the American Civil War.  His current research “Insolvent Nations” analyzes how wartime recruitment refracted political dynamics at local, regional and Imperial levels.

Violence in Brazil’s Favelas

Violence in Brazil’s Favelas film screening of Black Genocide in Brazil, from the RTE series What’s in the World, and round table with the filmmaker Peadar King and the activist Raul Santiago. In collaboration with Front Line Defenders, February 22, 2018.

Violence in Brazil Favelas SPLAS event


The Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and the NGO Front Line Defenders invites all to the event Violence in Brazil’s favelas, with a film screening and following round table discussion of RTE’s What in the World? latest series Black Genocide in Brazil. The event will take place on Thursday, 22nd, at 4:30 pm at the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Seminar Room (G27), O’Rahilly Building, with the presence of filmmaker Peadar King and Human Rights activist Raull Santiago.


Peadar King is the producer and presenter of the RTÉ global affairs series, ‘What In The World’, documentary filmmaker and a researcher and consultor to a range of statutory and voluntary organizations. He has published widely including articles for the Irish Times and in 2013 a book based on the television series.

Raull Santiago is a human rights defender from Rio de Janeiro. He is the co-founder of the collective Papo Reto (Straight Talk), a group of citizen journalists documenting life in the Complexo do Alemão favela in Rio de Janeiro. The intention of the group is to draw attention to what is happening in Alemão, highlighting the cases of police violence and other human rights abuses, which are often ignored by mainstream media or dismissed as drug-related violence.

Brazilian Studies Study Group