Latin American Ethnographic Contexts - 1st semester


The main purpose of this curricular unit is to introduce the students to Brazil´s ethnographical reality and to the anthropological debates it has inspired. Starting from a general presentation of Brazilian´s anthropology main lines, the curricular unit proposes a deeper focus on a set of major themes: Indigenous ethnology, race relations, Afro-Brazilian religions, and urban anthropological studies. The approach proposed combines a focus on theoretical debates with the discussion of specific ethnographies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João de Freitas Leal, Rodrigo Lacerda


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Bastide, R., 2005 [1958]. O Candomblé da Bahia. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Caldeira, T. P. R., 2000. Cidade de Muros. Crime, Segregação e Cidadania em São Paulo. São Paulo: EdUSP/Editora 34. Freyre, G., 1957 [1932]. Casa Grande e Senzala. Lisboa: Livros do Brasil. Matory, J. L., 2005. Black Atlantic Religion. Tradition, Transnationalism, and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Oliveira, J. P. de (ed.), 2004. A Viagem de Volta. Etnicidade, Política e Reelaboração Cultural no Nordeste Indígena. Rio de Janeiro: Contra Capa/ LACED. Ribeiro, D., 1996 [1995]. O Povo Brasileiro. A Formação e o Sentido do Brasil. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Sheriff, R. E., 2001. Dreaming Equality. Colour, Race, and Racism in Urban Brazil. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Viveiros de Castro, E., 1996. “Os pronomes cosmológicos e o perspectivismo ameríndio”, Mana, 2 (2): 115-144.

Teaching method

Courses follow a theoretical-practical methodology. In each course, a student presents and directs the discussion of a reading reference. The second part of the session consists of a lecture that seeks to bring together the different reading references and provide an overall view of the topics addressed.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on the following elements: oral presentation of a reading reference: assiduity and participation in discussions; two written tests, one in the middle of the semester and the second one at the end of the semester.

Subject matter

1. Brazil: an introduction. Brazilian anthropology: historical development and main areas of contemporary research. 2. Indigenous ethology. Contemporary anthrpological perspectives on Indigenous peoples. 3. Race and Nation. The myth of \"racial democracy\". Debates and researches on \"brazilian racism\". 4. Afro-brazilian religions. The africanist paradigm in Bastide´s work. Beyond the africanist paradigm: other perspectives on candomblé and umbanda. 5. Urban Anthropology: asphalt and periphery.


Programs where the course is taught: