April Brings Visitors to Campus to Celebrate Brazil

Brazil—one of today’s most vibrant rising global powers and a long-time U.S. partner—is the focus of a variety of visits and events in coming weeks at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brazil’s economy, now the world’s eighth largest, has enjoyed a solid performance during the global financial crisis and is expected to rise to fifth within the next several years. In recent years, Brazil and the United States also have moved to deepen their engagement and cooperation between the two nations in a diverse range of areas.

UW-Madison’s Brazil Initiative—an interdisciplinary initiative created in recognition of the growing global economic and political importance of South America’s largest county—and campus partners are hosting “Brazil Month” events throughout April.

This special series will kick off April 12, with a public lecture by Leandro Tessler, professor of physics and director of International Relations at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In his talk “Current Trends in Brazilian Higher Education” (noon, Room 206 Ingraham Hall), Tessler will discuss higher education and offer opportunities to compare best practices with the United States and other countries.

“The April events will bring more visibility to the Brazil Initiative on campus and the community at large as we wrap up our second year of existence,” said Severino Albuquerque, Brazil Initiative director and professor from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. ” We look forward to another year promoting collaborative research, teaching, and outreach projects focused on Brazil.”

Campus partners supporting the Brazil Initiative’s presentation of Brazil Month events include Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) and the International Institute.

About Leandro Tessler

Leandro Tessler has been a special adviser to the President of UNICAMP on international issues since 2009 and was recently appointed director of International Relations.

Professor Tessler has worked on institutional evaluation for the Brazilian Ministry of Education and serves on the Committee for the Evaluation of Programmes in Physics. He also serves on the Ministry of Education and Science Steering Committee for Curriculum Reform and Expansion of the Federal Higher Education System in Brazil.

UNICAMP’s current administration regards internationalization as a key strategic priority and has charged Professor Tessler to lead a taskforce to examine current challenges and set bold targets for UNICAMP.  He has led implementation of a wide range of strategies, including widening participation in international networks of universities, developing peer-to-peer agreements (including double diplomas), dedicating fresh financial resources, and establishing an international dimension of participation and exchange in research activities.

About the Brazil Initiative at UW-Madison

In recognition of Brazil’s growing global economic and political importance, UW-Madison’s Division of International Studies and LACIS launched this interdisciplinary initiative to promote collaborative research, teaching, and outreach projects focused on Brazil.

The Brazil Initiative seeks to bring faculty and alumni together with private foundations, businesses, and state agencies to enable Wisconsin to understand better and engage with Brazil as an emerging global economy. The Brazil Initiative also works to expand UW-Madison’s study abroad programs in Brazil.

Other Brazil Month Events in April include:


April 20: noon (206 Ingraham Hall)
“African Nations and Ethnic Identity in the Mina Coast and in Brazil: an Atlantic Comparative Approach”
Luis Nicolau Pares, Professor of Anthropology, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA)
African Studies and Brazil Initiative

April 21: 4:30 p.m. (8417 Social Science)
“Sacred Double Consciousness: The Signs of Citizenship and Spirit Possession in the Afro-American World”
J. Lorand Matory, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Center for African and African American Research, Duke University
Department of Anthropology

April 25: 4:00 p.m. (260 Bascom Hall)
Award Ceremony:
Global Citizen Award Presented to João Almino, Ambassador and Consul General of Brazil in Chicago
Brazil Initiative

April 28: 4:00 p.m. (260 Bascom Hall)
Paulo Sotero, Director of Brazil Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Brazil Initiative

Brazil Initiative Funding Opportunity: 2011 Joaquim Nabuco Award

The Brazil Initiative of the Division of International Studies and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program announce the 2011 Joaquim Nabuco Award, given annually to the two best essays on Brazil (any field) by a University of Wisconsin- Madison student. The essay may be written in English or Portuguese and have at least 15 double-spaced pages. The prize of  $1400 will be given to one graduate and one undergraduate student each.

Submissions for the 2011 Joaquim Nabuco Award will be accepted until May 2, 2011. Send questions to sjalbuqu@wisc.edu and essays (hard copy only) to Joaquim Nabuco Award, c/o Professor Severino Albuquerque, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 1012 Van Hise Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 53706. Please enclose a cover letter stating you are enrolled in the University of Wisconsin during academic year 2010-11.