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Language Resource Center Speaker Series - Edvan Brito

Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Stimson Hall, G25
204 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

"Using Social and Cultural Issues to Promote Language Learning and Cultural Awareness: Language Variation, Race, and Migration"
Edvan Brito
Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas

Language is one of the main sites where individual and group identities are constructed and negotiated. In teaching culture and language, I challenge mainstream representations of marginalized groups in Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries. This talk explores some of the main sociocultural aspects of Brazilian favelas (roughly slums or shantytowns), including the positive and negative orientations that people have about these places and their residents. In doing so, I focus on issues of race and migration as constitutive elements of these communities in urban areas of Brazil. This discussion is contextualized with a sociolinguistic variation analysis of postvocalic /s/ in City of God, a predominantly black neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. My goal is to engage (language) instructors in thinking of alternative ways of using the discussion of social and cultural issues in the target language countries to promote language learning and cultural awareness among U.S. students.

Bio: Edvan Brito is Assistant Professor and Director of the Portuguese Program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University, an M.A. in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University, and also holds a B.A. in Portuguese and Linguistics from the University de São Paulo (USP). His research interests include Portuguese as a foreign language, language, identity and power, language variation and change, language and race, and comparative race relations in Brazil and the United States.

Co-sponsored by the Language Resource Center and Latin American Studies Program.
This event is funded in part by an Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant to the Cornell Latin American Studies Program from the U.S. Department of Education and with additional funding provided through the Vice Provost for International Studies.

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