What’s up with Brazil? Beyond the headlines

27 April 2017
Professor Idelber Avelar

Brazil is now the eighth largest economy in the world. Yet recent headlines depict a nation in crisis.

How did the Olympics proceed after the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and major leaders of the Workers Party? Will current President Temer survive 2017? Is the Right Turn in Brazil affecting other Latin American nations? What is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's – Lula's – political legacy?

These questions and more will be addressed by US-based Brazilian scholar, Professor Idelber Avelar in two public lectures and an international seminar at the University of Auckland in May.

"The past five years have been some of the most eventful and complex in modern Brazilian history," says Professor Avelar, who specialises in Latin American Intellectual History and Cultural Studies (particularly literature, music and popular culture) at Tulane University.

"I hope to shed some light on the economic, political, cultural, and musical dimensions of the remarkable transformations recently undergone by the country."

The recipient of multiple international awards, Professor Avelar will spend two weeks at the University as guest of the New Zealand Centre for American Studies (NZCLAS) in the Faculty of Arts. He is on a Seeyle Fellowship funded by the Ralph and Eve Seeyle Charitable Trust to bring leading international visitors to the University.

"This is a perfect chance for the New Zealand community to get first-hand information and analysis of the Brazilian political and social processes of the last 15 years," says Associate Professor Walescka Pino-Ojeda, director of NZCLAS.

"Professor Avelar is a public intellectual, who seamlessly moves between ground-breaking intellectual analysis, and everyday conversation to explain Latin American politics, culture and social movements, always in the context of global trends and transformations.

"His visit is also an important boost to the NZCLAS mission and contribution to the Government's initiatives on Latin America, such as the CAPEs (Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence) and the PMSLA (Prime Minister’s Scholarships to Latin America)," says Walescka.

Professor Avelar will be a guest with NZCLAS from 819 May.

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