Professor Patricia I. Sobral
Director of Undergraduate Studies
The undergraduate program in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies is interdisciplinary in nature and allows students to work with core faculty in the department and in related fields. Since language is the key to culture and the more in-depth study of the Portuguese-speaking world in all of its diversity, the foundation of the undergraduate experience is centered on interdisciplinary arts-based learning approaches. On any given week, students from all levels could be working with digital narratives, creative writing, intense literary analysis, performances, the making of micro-documentaries and visual arts projects.
Another key element to the program is the Clube de escrita, an in-department writing center in which consultants work with each student individually. At the end of each semester, as a means of honoring student work and sharing with a larger community, undergraduates from all courses perform or show their work at Performance and Exhibit evening. The evening highlights the quality of undergraduate work in the program and underscores the importance of community.
Due to the intensive nature of Portuguese language instruction offered by the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and to the opportunities for study in Brazil and in Portugal, it is possible for students to start Portuguese at Brown and still be able to become concentrators. In fact, many Portuguese and Brazilian Studies concentrators begin studying Portuguese as freshmen or sophomores.
Additionally, the undergraduate experience in the department is shaped by the lively and active participation of students from concentration programs throughout the university. Many students who ultimately decide to concentrate in other departments choose to integrate Portuguese into their courses of study and continue to take courses or develop projects related to Portuguese and Brazilian Studies.