Associate Professor of Portuguese
Fernando Rocha obtained a Master's and a PhD degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also holds a Master's degree in Letters (Brazilian Literature and Literary Theory) from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Prof. Rocha just finished a book manuscript on Brazilian novelist Graciliano Ramos. His present research interests focus on the writings of subalterns in Brazil and on the intersections between voice and vocal performance and literature. He has articles published in journals such as Luso-Brazilian Review and ArtCultura.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FYSE 1386 - Latin Am & Status of Writing
Latin America and the Status of Writing
Formal education, and in particular higher education, is heavily based on writing as a recording technology. In this seminar we will examine how Latin Americans have questioned the institution of writing in the “modernization” of society, focusing on issues such as the clash between cultures of literacy and orality, the literary rendering of oral performances, and contemporary scenes of narrative production (the cartonera movement, hip-hop, and graffiti artists). We will develop our conceptual framework by reading authors such as Ángel Rama, Walter Ong, and Jack Goody, and focus our eyes and ears on works by Latin American artists such as Ricardo Palma, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rappin’ Hood, and Graciliano Ramos. 3 hrs. sem.
HIST 0429 / PGSE 0429 - Gandhi
This course will focus on the works and actions of Mahatma Gandhi. At one level, the readings will provide an introduction to the philosophy and life of one of the most significant, influential, and well-known figures of the 20th century. At another level, the course will discuss in detail the major themes and occurrences in modern Indian history, tracing the rise and ultimate victory of the Indian nationalist movement. The class will read a variety of texts, including books written by Gandhi, tracts published by his political and religious opponents, social commentaries, contemporary novels, and engaging histories. (formerly HIST 0414)3 hrs. sem
PGSE 0101 - Beginning Portuguese I
This course is a fast-paced introduction to Brazilian Portuguese and contemporary Brazilian culture. It focuses on the development of skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing within a cultural context. Students are expected to continue with PGSE 0102 in winter term, and PGSE 0103 in spring term, after successful completion of PGSE 0101. 5 hrs. lect./disc.LNG
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
PGSE 0102 - Beginning Portuguese II
This course is a continuation of PGSE 0101 and a pre-requisite for PGSE 0103. (PGSE 0101)
PGSE 0103 - Beginning Portuguese III
This course is a continuation of Portuguese 0102. Intensive reading, writing, and speaking. (PGSE 0102) 5 hrs. lect./disc.LNG
Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
PGSE 0210 - Beginning Port/RomanceSpeakers ▲
Beginning Portuguese for Romance-Language Speakers
This course is designed for Romance-language speakers and advanced Romance-language learners at the 0200 or 0300-level, depending on the language. It is an intensive introduction to Portuguese, covering all of the basic structures and vocabulary as well as important aspects of the cultures of Lusophone countries. Language learning is based on the students’ previous knowledge of one or more Romance languages. Students are expected to continue with PGSE 0215, after successful completion of PGSE 0210. (FREN 0205, ITAL 0251, SPAN 0220, or placement at French 0210 or above, Italian 0252 or above, Spanish 0300 or above, or instructor’s approval) 6 hrs. lect./disc.
Fall 2010, Fall 2014
PGSE 0353 - Faces of Brazil
Faces of Brazil
In this course we will study four central elements in contemporary Brazilian culture which have been reshaping the country's "face." We will focus on the legacies of a slave-based social structure by studying the favelas and the MST (Landless Rural Workers' Movement) which led to new formations in both urban and rural landscapes, but also to a perplexing mirror of social violence. We will analyze different narrative texts from directors and authors such as Sérgio Bianchi and Ferréz. Critical texts will be drawn from social activists as well as from theorists, such as philosopher Renato Janine Ribeiro and anthropologist Alba Zaluar. (PGSE 0215 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
PGSE 0405 - Narratives from the Margin
Narratives from the Margins: Occupying Minds
In this course we will investigate the narratives that marginal voices create in order to symbolically occupy a "space" in society. Taking, as our starting point, the concept of ocupação developed by the MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra), we will focus on marginal groups composing of Brazilian society, such as landless workers, inmates, or favelado. We will also analyze literary and filmic texts that express dissident viewpoints in the 20th century as well as the contemporary scene. In conjunction with these texts, we will discuss an array of online articles that deal with analyzed authors and/or issues that serve as context and counterpoint to these narratives. Texts analyzed will include Tetê Moraes's and Paulo Sacramento's documentaries, MST's poetry and songs, inmates' literature, or Carolina Maria de Jesus's narratives. (PGSE 0320 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Fall 2010, Spring 2014
PGSE 0410 - Romantic Poetry 19th-c. Brazil
Romantic Poetry and Vocal Performances in Nineteenth-Century Brazil
References to sound, voice, and music abound in Brazilian Romanticism. However, the sonic aspect of poetry reading is often forgotten when critics analyze Romantic aesthetics. In this course we will focus on how Romantics represented sound production and vocal performances and on their indications of how poems should be read aloud. Our objective is to reconstruct the Romantic scene of poetry reading and listening in order to create our own vocal performances of the poems. We will draw theoretical background from diverse writers, such as Gregory Nagy, Adriana Cavarero, and Mladen Dolar. Poets analyzed may include (but are not limited to) Castro Alves, Casimiro de Abreu, and Raimundo Correia. (0300-level course or higher) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
PGSE 0436 - Madness in Brazilian Culture ▲
Madness in Brazilian Culture
In this course we will examine the extent to which madness may constitute a counter-hegemonic discourse in Brazilian culture. If, as objects made by asylum patient Arthur Bispo do Rosário seem to suggest, language is breaking up, how can we understand it? To answer this question, we will initially focus on the pioneer work of psychiatrist Nise da Silveira and then venture into the interconnections between madness and trauma as well as madness and waste. One cannot apparently speak what must be said; and in the second, the physical world (bodies and objects) is on the limits of rejection. Works studied in this course may include Foucault’s seminal text on madness, selections from Gramsci’s prison notebooks, a novel by Conceição Evaristo, and a film by Marcos Prado, among others. (PGSE 0353 or equivalent) 3hrs. lect./disc.
PGSE 0500 - Independent Study ▲ ▹
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015