An Introduction to Salvador de Bahia: Brazil's "Black Rome" with Dr. Javier Escudero
Can't make this time?
A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.
Known as the “Black Rome”, Brazil’s Salvador, Bahia is a destination to explore and embrace in this alternative seminar. Gain a unique understanding of the main tourist sites and attractions while immersing in a deeper historical, social and racial reflection in order to better understand the city, the culture, and its people and to overcome traditional exotic, and stereotypical approaches.
Today, Salvador is a city with a unique and distinctive personality, defined by its vibrant carnival parades and its axé music; by Pelourinho's cobblestone streets and the large number of catholic church and terreiros of candomblé; by the Black women cooking acarajé on the streets and the fabulous and sunny beaches open all year long.
We’ll take a look at Salvador’s important history as we go back to its colonial days. During the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, Salvador, the first capital of colonial Brazil, became the most important urban and business center in the South Atlantic due to the implementation of the sugar cane trade that brought to the area a large number of enslaved people from Africa.
We’ll learn about how the resistance of the native Tupinambas and later on of the African people against the oppressive colonial and mercantilist regime left profound scarfs in the society that are still visible today. We’ll discuss how many of the most prominent cultural, musical, culinary, and religious manifestations that exist came out of the cultural and political struggle as well as of the large presence of Africans in the city during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Capoeira, samba de Roda, candomblé, Comida baiana, and afoxé carnival group all have their roots in this history we will discuss.
Led by published author and local Brazilian expert, Dr. Javier Escuder, this interactive seminar will provide an introductory yet alternative study of the remarkable city of Salvador. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper awareness of this Latin American jewel.
Javier combines the knowledge of an extensive scholar career with his large study abroad experience in both the university and the business sectors. He published 3 books on Juan Goytisolo, Américo Castro, and Rosa Montero, as well as many articles in academic journals and newspapers on Spanish and Latin American literature, culture, and film. Javier presented papers and guest lectures in over 30 universities and international conferences and was appointed Spain's Consul of Education and Director of the Instituto Cervantes in Rio de Janeiro between 2001 and 2003. He has directed several university abroad programs in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil and has worked as a guest lecturer for Semester at Sea and as study leader for Smithsonian Journeys. Currently, he is preparing a new book–Through the Lens of Pierre Verger: Photographs of a Multicultural United States, 1934 & 1937. He has a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Literature.