Liberal Arts

Events to promote democracy in Brazil

Democracy Works podcast examines rise of Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Brazil is one of the world’s largest countries and largest democracies. It also has a long history military or authoritarian governments, and many wonder whether the election of populist Jair Bolsonaro will push it away from democracy again.

A series of events from March 11-19 will examine the future of democracy in Brazil from several angles — including culture, politics and the environment. Defending Democracy in Brazil Week is organized by the Penn State Committee for Democracy in Brazil, which formed last fall not long after Bolsonaro’s election.

All events are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

March 11

  • Writing by Ear: The Aural Novel in Brazil” by Princeton University’s Marília Librandi Rocha. Part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series. 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., 102 Kern.
  • Protecting the Environment and Indigenous Rights in Bolsonaro’s Brazil: A Conversation with Marília Librandi Rocha. 3-4:30 p.m., 124 Sparks

March 16

  • Afro-Brazilian Samba and Capoeira Workshops with Mestre Efraim Silva and Thelma Ladeira. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., HUB Flex Theater
  • Inaugural meeting of the Penn State Committee for Democracy in Brazil, 2 to 3 p.m., HUB Flex Theater.

March 18

  • “I, A Black Woman Resist” screening and panel discussion with director Sharrelle Barber. 4 p.m., Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library.

March 19

  • “The Second Mother” screening. Part of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and Sustainability Institute’s “Intersections: Landscapes of Labor” film series. 7 p.m., 132 HUB.

Additionally, this week’s episode of the Democracy Works podcast, produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and WPSU Penn State, covers Brazil’s political history, the factors that lead to Bolsonaro’s election and the country’s history of social movements. Listen at or search “Democracy Works” in any podcast app.

Defending Democracy in Brazil Week is sponsored by the departments of African American Studies; Anthropology; Comparative Literature; Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; the Center for Global Workers’ Rights; the Africana Research Center; the Latin American Studies Program; Penn State Global Programs; College of Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies and University Libraries.

Last Updated March 13, 2019