Brazilian Studies and Portuguese at Vanderbilt
Founded in 1947 as the country’s first Institute of Brazilian Studies, CLAS has maintained and strengthened its historic ties to Brazil. With student and faculty collaborations spanning history, anthropology, political science, business, medicine, law, and education, CLAS fosters a holistic approach to understanding Brazil’s past, present, and future.
Brazilian Studies and Portuguese
Vanderbilt is home to one of the top Portuguese programs in the country, with enrollments up over 100% in the last four years and a new and innovative undergraduate Brazilian Studies Minor. We offer a summer program in Brazilian Portuguese and Culture in collaboration with PUC-São Paulo as well as targeted Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to study Brazilian Portuguese.
Research and Student Exchanges
We have over 20 faculty specializing in Brazil, and a large number of graduate students. Major library holdings include Sol Biderman Brazilian Art and Poster Collection. We have a core institutional partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP), and we host Brazilian STEM undergraduates and CAPES student exchanges.
History and Culture
Vanderbilt has a renowned history program focusing on nation-building and the economic and business history of Brazil, and is a pioneer of Atlantic World Studies and Brazil’s historic connections with Africa and Europe. We are home to a major digitization project of Brazilian slave trade archives (ESSSS), led by Jane Landers, and a strong anthropology program on native peoples and culture. Vanderbilt hosted BRASA for many years with signifigant university support.
Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)
LAPOP, the largest public opinion poll in the hemisphere, is partnered with the University of Brasilia. The Brazilian survey covers 2,482 households, representing five main geographic regions.
Education and Economic Development
Joint research projects on economic policies and higher education in Brazil bring together Vanderbilt’s Peabody School of Education and University of São Paulo’s School of Economics. Collaborative conferences in São Paulo and Nashville have focused on U.S. and Brazilian higher education policy, higher education finance, access and residency issues and performance incentives. There is a deep history of ties between the Graduate Program in Economic Development (GPED) and Brazil.
Business and Law
Vanderbilt offers a joint Américas MBA between Vanderbilt Owen School of Management and USP-FIA, and each year USP-FIA students participate in a week-long program at the Owen School. An undergraduate business language competition focuses on Brazilian Portuguese. Our Law School has faculty and student exchanges with FGV-São Paulo.
An innovative collaborative art project between Vanderbilt visual artists and USP colleagues involves anthropology and philosophy to explore the history and representation of the Brazilian city, Brazilian architecture, and issues of cultural and religious responses to environmental change. We have supported exhibitions in São Paulo and Nashville.
This program brings accomplished mid-career leaders from Brazil and other countries to Vanderbilt for an academic year to study at our Peabody School of Education.
Institute for Coffee Studies
Vanderbilt’s Institute for Coffee Studies has worked closely with Brazilian coffee producers’ associations to promote biomedical research on health and coffee.
The CLAS Outreach program offers K-12 teacher development workshops to introduce Brazil and the Portuguese language in primary and secondary schools in Tennessee and across the country. We also conduct workshops for businesses with interests in Brazil.
Cultural Events, Visiting Speakers, Conferences
CLAS Sponsors and annual Brazil Week with capoeira, soccer matches, music and poetry, a Festa Junina celebration, and a number of other events including lectures by visiting speakers, films and professional conferences.
Vanderbilt Faculty who work in Brazil
Marcio Bahia (Portuguese)
Dominique Behague (Medicine, Health and Society)
Tony Brown (Sociology)
Celso Castilho (History)
Beth Conklin (Anthropology)
Marshall Eakin (History)
Earl Fitz (Portuguese)
Guilherme Gualda (Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Steve Heyneman (Education)
Maria Luisa Jorge (Biological Sciences)
Jane Landers (History)
Tom Morgan (Medicine)
Emanuelle Oliveira (Portuguese)
Vesna Pavlovic (Art)
Hermano Rocha (Business)
Mitch Seligson (LAPOP/Political Science)
Randall Thomas (Art)
Bart Victor (Business)
Mel Ziegler (Art)
Isleide Zissimos (Economics)