Fall 2020 - SA 365 D100

Selected Regional Areas (A) (4)

The Body in Brazil

Class Number: 8260

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Kathleen Millar
    Office Hours: By appointment via Zoom
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of selected aspects of the social structure, culture and the processes of social change in varying regional areas. The focus will vary from semester to semester.


As of June 2020, Brazil reported the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. This sobering statistic is a current indicator of how the body has long been a site where social inequalities are inscribed and contested in Brazilian society. This course examines those connections. It begins by considering the “Racialized Body,” exploring how race in Brazil is perceived and performed through phenotypical characteristics and bodily practices that contrast with North American systems of racial classification. We then consider what the “Gendered Body” in Brazil teaches us about sensuality, sexuality, and the ways both gender conforming and non-conforming identities are socially constructed in specific contexts. The final unit of the course examines “The Embodied Politics of Class.” Through cases that range from pharmaceutical treatments of hunger, to Brazil’s enthusiasm for plastic surgery, to the current COVID crisis, we approach class inequality as it is expressed and experienced through the governance of Brazilian bodies. This course may appeal not only to students interested in Brazil and Latin America, but also to those interested in gender studies, performance studies, medical anthropology, global Black studies, and social theory.


  • Weekly reading responses 15%
  • Group activity/presentation 15%
  • Short writing 1 20%
  • Short writing 2 20%
  • Final project 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.


This course will be delivered via remote teaching technology. We will meet via Zoom for a portion of the scheduled class time and other content will be available to you through on-line resources. Please note that nearly all teaching at SFU in Fall term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. No exams will be conducted in-person.

Universal Access Remote learning for this semester requires a computer or tablet, camera, and internet access. Most laptops and desktops are running OSX and Windows. Tablets may be Android, iOS or Windows based. Headsets are advised but not necessary. Note that students have free access to Zoom at https://sfu.zoom.us and to free Office 365 at https://cgi.sfu.ca/~msoff365/cgi-bin/.



Please see SFU Bookstore website for information on textbook purchase options.


Kulick, D. (1998). Travesti: Sex, Gender and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes. University of Chicago Press.

ISBN: 978-0-226461007

Roth-Gordon, J. (2017). Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de Janeiro. University of California Press.

ISBN: 978-0-520293793

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).