IS 356/HIST 356


Spring 2019

TTh, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

TTh, 11 a.m.-12:15 pm


Jacksonville University

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Hingson

Office location: Gooding Main Office

Office phone: (904) 256-7215

Office hours: MW, 11 am-12 pm, M-Th, 1-3 pm, and by appointment (ends April 19)


Instructor website:


What does this course promise?  This course surveys Brazilian history from the colonial period to the present day.  We will explore the following topics: indigenous societies, European colonization and immigration, the formation of slavery, the blending of racial groups, Brazil’s path to independence, centralism and federalism in the formation of the state during the nineteenth century, economic development and modernization, authoritarian rule and struggles for democratization, foreign relations, populism, and recent challenges to the state and neo-liberal policies.  I promise to do everything that I can to help students learn by being prepared for classes, treating students and their views with respect, being available for meetings, assessing student performance as objectively, accurately, and quickly as possible, and challenging students to learn.  Please promise to work with me by attending classes regularly, reading all assigned materials, and actively participating.  This course counts toward a B.A. or B.S. in History, and it is a core curriculum requirement for non-History majors, if taken as an International Studies course. 


Course Topics and Expected Course Outcomes: As a result of this course, the student will be able to do the following:

1) Intelligently discuss the economic, social, cultural, and political factors that influenced Brazil’s history.

2) Analyze primary and secondary documents from Brazilian history and intelligently discuss the issues involved in the use of such sources for historical analysis.

3) Critically engage significant works by modern scholars that address the course and impact of modern Brazilian development.


Attendance and ‘Make Up’ Exam Policies: Attendance is required on the dates that exams, quizzes, and assignments are scheduled, and failure to do so will result in a zero for that exam, quiz, and/or assignment.  In the case that an absence is unavoidable, it is the responsibility of the student to provide proper documentation from a doctor, university official, lawyer, or other professional in case of an unexcused absence.  In this case, a “make-up” day for any missed exam has been scheduled.  Finally, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate a withdrawal from the course within the designated withdrawal period. Not doing so will result in failure for the course.


Academic Dishonesty: Any evidence of cheating or plagiarism will result in automatic failure for the exam or assignment in which it occurred.  Cheating is defined as the attempt, successful or not, to give or obtain aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirements, including examinations.  It includes copying the writings of others with or without their knowledge.  Plagiarism is defined as the use, without proper acknowledgement, of the ideas, phrases, sentences, or larger units of discourse from another writer or speaker.  All are expected to know and abide by the policy as stated in the university catalog and student handbook.  More information related to academic integrity, misconduct, and students’ rights and responsibilities is located at:


Assistance for Needs Related to Disability: Requests for testing or instructional accommodations due to physical and learning disabilities, as described by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, need to be reported to the instructor during the first week of the semester.  These requests will require a confidential letter authorized and signed by JU’s Office of Student Life (904-256-7067).  Course requirements will not be waived, but accommodations may assist in meeting the requirements.


Student Behavior: All are expected to behave according to accepted norms ensuring a climate wherein all can exercise their right to learn.  Such norms are set forth in the JU catalog.  These include eating, doing work from other classes, texting, engaging with social media, sleeping, consistently arriving late, rude behavior toward others, or bringing live cell phones or all other electronic devices in the classroom without prior approval.  Such behavior will be grounds for dismissal from the class, judicial proceedings, and/or failure of the course.  Laptops must be used in relation to course material, such as taking notes. 


Textbooks (required): Available for purchase at the university bookstore or other online vendors.  Please note that the bookstore returns unsold textbooks two weeks after classes begin.

1)    Riordan Roett, Brazil: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. [Roett]

2)    Robert M. Levine and John J. Crocitti, eds., The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999. [BR]


The following reading will be provided online at no additional cost.

3)    Mary Karasch, “Zumbi of Palmares: Challenging the Portuguese Colonial Order,” in The Human Tradition in Colonial Latin America, edited by Kenneth J. Andrien. (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, Inc., 2002).


Requirements and Grading Scale:

Exam 1: 50 points (10%)

Exam 2: 50 points (10%)

Exam 3: 100 points (20%)

Response Paper 1: 50 points (10%)

Response Paper 2: 50 points (10%)

Response Paper 3: 100 points (20%)

Participation: 100 points (20%)

Total: 500 points


SCALE: A=500-450; B+=449-435; B=434-400; C+=399-385; C=384-350; D+=349-335; D=334-300; F=≤299


*No grade of “I” or “Incomplete” will be given unless a documented emergency prevents you from completing the course.


1) Exams: Exams will evaluate ability to read, write, and think critically about Brazil’s past and present.  Each exam will include the following: 1) explanations of significance; 2) responses to questions based on the readings and supplemental materials.  The use of notes and textbooks is strongly encouraged.  In order to do well on the exams, it is important to bring in supporting evidence and examples from the readings and supplemental materials, even if they are not discussed in class.  It is the responsibility of all students to bring their own materials to the exam.  Sharing books and notes is not permitted. 


2) Response Papers: Questions will be posed to survey critical reactions to readings, lectures, activities, or any other material (e.g. films and documentaries) relevant to the course.  Please do not use any outside source material.  Each response should be typed, New Times Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced, a minimum of 1000 words, and follow either Turabian or MLA formats when citing.  It is expected that all written work will be carefully edited.  Strong responses incorporate an introductory paragraph that previews an argument/thesis or theme.  Body paragraphs must have viable topic sentences and be steeped in evidence to support an argument/thesis.  Thoughtful conclusions explore the larger implications of main ideas.  At any point during the semester, feel free to come in and discuss the responses.  Papers submitted by e-mail will not be accepted unless approved prior to the deadline.  Each late paper will be penalized ten (10) points for each 24-hour period it is late (starting the minute after the class session it is due).  Rules against plagiarism will apply especially to this assignment, and programs (e.g., will be utilized to check for plagiarism.  To give you an idea of how the response paper will be assessed, a grading rubric and sample essay are provided.


Re-Write Policy: The grade for only one of the response papers may be improved by a maximum of ten (10) points.  Criticisms must be incorporated from the original first draft, which must be turned in with the “Re-Write”.  No corrected papers will be accepted without the original.  Both will be due on the date and time listed in the schedule. 


3) Participation: The expectations are that class meetings will be regularly attended and that all readings and assignments will be discussed.  Participation will be assessed by: short quizzes on the readings, quality of input in discussion, assistance to the instructor, and participation in group activities.  This last category might entail creating class handouts, presentations, web pages, outlines for the response papers, lists of additional bibliographical and/or internet resources (including music, photographs, documentaries, and films), summaries of current events and news stories, or any other materials that will help us understand what we are reading and/or viewing.  Consult the following for current events and news stories:


Folha de S. Paolo / The Guardian (British) / PRI's Coverage of Brazil /

Reuters News  / New York Times's Coverage of Brazil /

The Telegraph / BBC’s Coverage of Brazil (British) / O Globo/Rio Times


SCHEDULE/READINGS: Instructor reserves the right to change the schedule if necessary

January 8: Introductions and Syllabus; syllabus contracts due during the next class

January 8, 10, 15, 17, 22: From Colony to Modern Nation

·         Read: Roett, chapters 1, 2

·         Read: BR, chapters 1-4

·         Read: Karasch, “Zumbi of Palmares

·         Watch: Black in Latin America: Brazil, A Racial Democracy?

·         Read: The Meaning of Brazil's Canudos Campaign

·         Read: Brazil's Devil's Railway gets a New Lease on Life

·         Read: Guardian Report on Fordlandia

January 24: EXAM #1

January 29, 31: View “Quilombo” and Discussion

February 5, 7, 12: View “Behind the Sun” and Discussion

February 14: Response Paper #1 Due

February 14, 19: From Military Rule to Democracy

·         Read: Roett, chapters 3, 4

·         Read: BR, chapter 5

·         Read: National Security Archive, “Brazil Truth Commission Releases Report”

·         View: Brazil: The Troubled Land (1964) in Youtube or Brazil: The Troubled Land (1964) in Vimeo

February 21: Brazilian Culture and Society; Samba Lesson (50 points participation)

·         Read: Roett, chapter 10

·         Read: BR, chapter 9

·         View: BBC Documentary: Brasil, Brasil, Samba to Bossa Nova

·         View: BBC Documentary: Brasil, Brasil, The Tropicalia Revolution 

February 26: EXAM #2

February 28, March 5, 7: View “Four Days in September” and Discussion

March 11-15: No Classes—Spring Break

March 19: Response Paper #2 Due

March 19, 21, 26, 28: Democracy and Development

·         Read: Roett, chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

·         Read: BR, chapter 7, 8

·         Read: Guardian Article on Police Violence before the Olympics

·         Listen/Read: NPR Report on Affirmative Action in Brazil

·         Listen/Read: Interactive PRI Report on Deforestation in the Amazon

·         Watch: Vox's Coverage of Jair Balsonaro's Election

·         Watch: New York Times on Why Some Brazilian Women Supported Balsonaro

·         Read: New York Times Article on Balsonaro's First Day and Indigenous Rights

April 2: EXAM #3

April 4, 9, 11: View “Last Stop 174” and Discussion

April 16, 18: View “They Killed Sister Dorothy” and Discussion

April 25

(9-11 am)

T/Th, 9:30-10:45 a.m. course

·         Response Paper RE-WRITE DUE (Original must be attached)

·         MAKE-UP DAY (Documentation must be submitted on or before this time and date)

·         Response Paper #3 Due

April 23

(12-3 pm)

T/Th, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. course

·         Response Paper RE-WRITE DUE (Original must be attached)

·         MAKE-UP DAY (Documentation must be submitted on or before this time and date)

·         Response Paper #3 Due





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