Brazilian Studies Program

The Program of Excellence in Brazilian Studies (PROBRAS) enhances academic and scholarly work throughout the university by strengthening ties between FIU, the Brazilian community in South Florida, and Brazilian academic, government and private sector institutions. This entails an active outreach program whereby LACC leverages FIU’s intellectual and financial resources to not only engage partners in Brazil but to promote and deepen our understanding of Brazil/US and Brazil/Florida relations.

The network of relationships between Brazil and the United States, particularly Brazil and Florida, are dense and critically important to both countries. More specifically, there are 300,000 Brazilians residing in Florida, the largest community of Brazilians in the US, reflecting, in part, the significant increase in trade and investments between Brazil and Florida. LACC builds upon its strengths in multiple departments and across disciplines, such as Portuguese language and Brazilian studies instruction, to promote the study and research of Brazilian language and culture at the K-18 level, as well as Brazilian economy, politics and society.

Programming includes but is not limited to:

Miami K-12 Portuguese Strategic Planning Committee: In response to increasing demands in South Florida for expanded K-12 training in Portuguese and in an effort to build upon existing strengths and further institutionalize existing partnerships in support of Brazilian Studies, LACC, the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Portuguese International Parents Association and the American Organization for Teachers of Portuguese co-founded the Miami K-12 Portuguese Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee serves as forum to design, fund and implement critical and sustainable programming related to Portuguese and avoid duplication of efforts. Current collaborative projects provide support for primary, secondary and post-secondary teacher training and professional development, curriculum development, library collection development, strategic hires, and outreach; the development of dual-enrollment opportunities is a new priority area of focus for 2014.

Portuguese Language Proficiency Testing at FIU: As part of its Program of Excellence in Brazilian Studies, LACC prioritizes the importance of providing the tools necessary to support language proficiency testing for those working in or on Brazil. LACC faculty affiliate, Professor Augusta Vono, is credentialed to administer the Government of Brazil's Celpe-Bras Portuguese proficiency test. FIU is one of only four Celpe-Bras testing sites in the US and serves students, government employees and professionals from across the US and the LAC region. LACC's Program of Excellence in Brazilian Studies provides funding for Celpe-Bras re-certification training as well as ACTFL-OPI training.

Portuguese Language Journal: Along with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida and the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico, LACC cosponsors the Portuguese Language Journal, an initiative to promote and improve the teaching of Portuguese as a foreign language and to provide a venue to encourage collaboration, research and exchange of ideas among Portuguese language faculty.

International Academic Programs: As a cornerstone of its outreach to post-secondary institutions, LACC provides funding to support various FIU international learning opportunities related to Brazil. Such programs include the INSPER student exchange in International Business, which targets university and community college students, and the Hospitality and Tourism Management in Brazil Study Abroad which targets undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Latin American Studies students. In addition, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship provides access to students interested in Portuguese language training at home or abroad.

LACC Interdisciplinary Affiliated Faculty Colloquium Series: This series provides an important forum for the promotion and dissemination of LACC faculty research related to Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. Related colloquia have highlighted LACC faculty research on focuses on politics, law, culture, conservation, media and business in contemporary Brazil and featured presentations from FIU faculty including, Manuel Gomez, Law; Ana Maria Bidegain, Religious Studies; Victor Uribe, History; William Newburry, Business, and Pascale Becel, Nicola Gavioli and Augusta Vono, Modern Languages. LACC Faculty Clinton Jenkins and Simone Athayde recently presented "Protecting the Socioenvironmental Heritage of Brazil" to showcase their research in the region.

LACC Outreach Events and Community Programming: LACC works closely with the FIU Portuguese Program, FIU Modern Languages, FIU Brazilian Culture Club, FIU Journalism and other partners on a variety of outreach events throughout the year. Recent events featured journalists Eliane Brum and Chris Delboni, biologist Kelly Zamudio discussing her research in Brazil, and Rio favela activist and O Globo columnist Vinícius Faustini Marcus. In 2018, LACC launched the "Que Beleza Brasil!" program as part of our US Department of Education Title VI Grant. In partnership with Brazilian Nites, Miami-Dade Country Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools, the "Que Beleza Brasil!" program brings Brazilian musical artists to K-12 classrooms in the Portuguese Language Program in South Florida for musical performances and conversations with the artists in Portuguese. Featured artists have included Yamandu Costa, Daniel Jobim, Adriana Calcanhotto, Lulu Santos, Celso Fonseca, and Marcos Valle.