University of Pittsburgh
April 5, 2013

International Brazilian Conference to Be Hosted by Pitt April 12 and 13

Focus Brasil is recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the most important Brazilian cultural event held abroad

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will host an international two-day conference highlighting Brazilian culture and emphasizing the importance of teaching the Portuguese language. The Focus Brasil conference is recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the most important Brazilian cultural event held abroad, and it has become an annual forum for the leaders of Brazilian communities to address issues of interest to Brazilians living abroad.

Focus Brasil conferences have previously been held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and related events have recently taken place in London and Tokyo. The Brazilian conference, to be held on Pitt’s campus April 12 and 13, will mark the launch of the Focus Brasil “U-Circuit,” a traveling seminar series designed to bring Brazilian culture to audiences at universities across the United States.

A description of the free public Focus Brasil events follows.

April 12

Film Screening, 7 p.m., Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland.

The 1977 film A Tenda dos Milagres (Tent of Miracles), based on a novel by famed Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, will be screened. This is a rare opportunity to see Tent of Miracles, which has never been released in the United States.

April 13

Panel Discussion, 9 a.m.-noon, O’Hara Student Center, 4024 O’Hara St., Oakland.

“Promotion of the Portuguese Language in the U.S.,” moderated by Ana Paula Carvalho, Pitt’s Portuguese language coordinator and Portuguese minor advisor. National scholars and Brazilian leaders will discuss the challenges of, and opportunities for, teaching Portuguese in the United States. Presentations will include the following:

  • “Qualifying Teachers to Teach Portuguese in the U.S.,” Anete Arslanian, American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese;
  • ·“Portuguese: The Trendy New Language in the World,” Clémence Joü“Portuguese: The Trendy New Language in the World,” Clémence Jouet-Pastré, Harvard University; and
  • “Teaching Portuguese: The Experience of the University of Miami,” Steven Butterman, University of Miami.

Panel Discussion, 2:30-5 p.m., O’Hara Student Center

“Brazilian Culture: Traditional and Modern,” moderated by Luis Bravo, president of Pittsburgh’s Cultural Organization for Educational and Social Actions. Panelists will discuss the state of Brazilian culture as it is represented in the United States. Presentations will include the following:

  • “The Culture of Brazil in American Universities,” Carlos Borges, Focus Brasil Foundation; and
  • “Promoting Brazilian Arts and Music in the United States,” Gene DeSouza, Café Brasil Radio Show, Rhythm Foundation.

Brazilian Festival, 5-10 p.m., O’Hara Student Center

Presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Brazil Nuts Luso-Brazilian Association. Feijoada, a stew of meat and beans that is often considered Brazil’s national dish, will be served, and there will be a screening of the video Brazil: World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016, exploring the impact of the nation hosting the World Cup and the Olympic Games.

Focus Brasil 2013 is presented by Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies, Pitt’s Brazil Nuts Luso-Brazilian Association, Mooka Entertainment, Plus Media Marketing, the Focus Brasil Foundation, and PNC Bank. Visit http://focusbrasil.org/focus-u-circuit for more information, or contact Heather Whitfill at mookaentertainment@gmail.com or 412-837-1926. 

###

4/5/13/mab/cjhm