Skip to Content

Graduate Certificate Program in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies offered by RLL entails an advanced-level interdisciplinary program of study across the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts focusing on the three major historical, geopolitical, and cultural areas encompassed by the “Afro-Luso-Brazilian” label, namely: Brazil, Portugal, and the five Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé & Príncipe). These Lusophone regions or countries have been substantially interlinked through the combined legacies of colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade that have produced entirely new and exceedingly rich hybridized cultures, while at the same time, generating significant racial and socio-economic inequalities that endure to this date. In a rapidly reconfiguring and yet ambiguously postcolonial world under the aegis of global capitalism, the Portuguese-speaking world, with Brazil at the forefront, presents fascinating case scenarios for the study of myriad cultural, historical, socio-economic, and geopolitical phenomena.

The graduate certificate is meant to introduce and expose students to the advanced study of Brazil as well as Lusophone cultures as a whole. Organized around multiple fields and disciplines reflecting the cultural richness and diversity of nations throughout the Portuguese-speaking world, as well as the varied expertise of faculty at RLL and LSA at large, the graduate certificate will offer students from a range of disciplinary homes an intellectually challenging, historically rich, and methodologically rigorous study program in courses taught in both Portuguese and English.

Course Distribution Requirements

Requirements for the Certificate Program in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies include 15 credit hours, encompassing 4 courses and a Capstone Project. Among the 4 courses there is only one requirement, PORT 650 Topics in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies Studies (3 credits), which is part of the graduate Portuguese curriculum in RLL.

The remaining elective courses at the 400/500-level and beyond may be taken in a variety of departments (including in the form of Independent Study), but not limited to: Romance Languages and Literatures, History, Anthropology, Afro-American and African Studies, Political Science, and Linguistics. The 400-level elective courses for the certificate program have been approved for graduate credit. ALB students will do additional work at a higher level for these courses in the form of a class presentation, annotated bibliography, review essay, and/or final research paper.

Capstone Project in Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies

Students are required to complete a capstone project related to issues or problematics in any area related to Afro-Luso-Brazilian Studies. The project might take the form of a new paper, a substantially revised seminar paper from one of the elective courses that satisfy the requirements for the certificate, or an expanded chapter for a dissertation. Students must provide a 2-3 pp framing statement explaining the proposed project in terms of issues or problematics that are central to the purposes of the certificate. The proposal for a capstone project must be approved by the Chair of the certificate program. Subsequently, the completed project must be approved by the Chair and one additional faculty member in the Afro-Luso-Brazilian studies program.