Spring 2019 - SA 365 D100

Selected Regional Areas (A) (4)

Class Number: 7245

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Kathleen Millar
    Office: AQ 5062
    Office Hours: WE 14:00-15:00
  • 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.


This course examines the body as a site where social inequalities are inscribed and contested in Brazilian society. The course 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 next two units of the course look at “Bodies in Motion,” by exploring the politics of Afro-Brazilian forms of sport and dance, and “Body and Soul,” which focuses on religious experiences of the body, such as trances and spirit possession in the Brazilian religion of Candomblé. The course ends by examining the “Medicalized Body.” Through cases that range from pharmaceutical treatments of hunger to Brazil’s enthusiasm for plastic surgery, we approach class inequality as an embodied experience. 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.


  • Reading responses 15%
  • Midterm exam 25%
  • Short essay 20%
  • Final paper 25%
  • Participation 15%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology and 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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Kulick, D. (1998). Travesti: Sex, Gender and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes. Chicago: 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. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
ISBN: 978-0-520293809

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