Authoritarianism in the Philippines and Brazil with Vicente Rafael & Jorgge Menna Barreto

Center for Cultural Studies at UCSC

This dialogic colloquium enjoins us to learn about and reflect on authoritarianism in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines and Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil.  In each of these democracies, what histories and dynamics have contributed to these figures’ rise, and how is their appeal connected to the place of each country in global economies of material and cultural capital? How should we understand their contemporaneity and connection? How have they approached the pandemic’s necropolitical possibilities and challenges? The session will begin with brief opening remarks from Vicente Rafael on Duterte’s Philippines and Jorgge Menna Barreto on Bolsonaro’s Brazil. We will then open to a broader conversation among participants.

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History at the University of Washington in Seattle. He works mainly on the cultural politics of the Philippines and occasionally on the United States, focusing on such topics as colonialism, nationalism and postcoloniality; language and religion; translation and technology; and race and empire. His books include Motherless Tongues (2016); The Promise of the Foreign (2005); White Love and Other Events in Filipino History (2000); and Contracting Colonialism (1988).

Jorgge Menna Barreto is a Brazilian artist and educator who works at the intersection of art and agroecology, focusing on agroforestry. Since 2015, Menna Barreto has been a professor at UERJ, Rio de Janeiro, and he is presently on postdoctoral leave in Europe. In January 2021, he will begin as Assistant Professor in Environmental Art at UC Santa Cruz. He is also the translator of Anna Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World into Brazilian Portuguese, to be launched next year.

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