Week Six of the 2014 Chautauqua Institution season kicks off on Saturday, July 26, and ends on Saturday, Aug. 2, celebrating the weekly themes with lectures, art and live performances. The morning lectures, on “Brazil: Rising Superpower,” will take place at 10:45 a.m. from Monday to Friday in the Amphitheater, while the afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series, “Brazil: The Interplay of Religion and Culture,” follows at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy.
Morning Lecture Series
The host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, the Federative Republic of Brazil is South America’s largest country, and the fifth largest in the world. Lecturers this week chart its history, politics, culture and growing influence in global affairs.
Monday’s lecturer, Tyrone Turner, is a photojournalist based in Arlington, Virginia. His assignments have taken him from Brazil to Baghdad to the bayous of Louisiana with his camera in hand. He begins the week with stories of modern-day Brazilians.
Lourenço Bustani, the Tuesday lecturer, co-founded Mandalah, a consulting company working with companies such as GM, HSBC, Nike and PepsiCo to approach the “tricky” Brazilian market. The secret, he says: “Find the sweet spot between purpose and profit.” In 2012, he was included in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business (ranking No. 48).
Wednesday lecturer Brian Winter is an author and the chief correspondent for Reuters in Brazil, based in São Paulo. During a decade living in Latin America, he has covered popular revolts, the destruction of the Amazon and countless economic booms and busts. He has written or co-written four books, including two about Brazil: Why Soccer Matters, which he wrote with the famous soccer star Pelé, and The Accidental President of Brazil, a collaboration with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who governed the country from 1995 to 2003.
On Thursday, Chautauqua welcomes Deborah Wetzel, a U.S. national with more than 25 years of experience in development work around the world. She is the World Bank director for Brazil, the first woman to hold that post. Previously, she served as the World Bank Group’s chief of staff in Washington and as director for Governance and Public Sector in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network, directing the World Bank’s work on taxation, public expenditures, decentralization, public sector reform and strengthening, governance and anti-corruption.
Paulo Sotero will close the week on Friday. Sotero is the director of the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He also currently serves in the adjunct faculty of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Sotero, an award-winning journalist, previously served as Washington correspondent for O Estado de S. Paulo, a leading Brazilian daily newspaper.
Brazil is a richly spiritual society formed originally from the interplay of the Roman Catholic Church with the religious traditions of African slaves and indigenous peoples. This confluence of faiths during the Portuguese colonization of Brazil led to the development of a diverse array of syncretistic practices characterized by traditional Portuguese festivities, experienced as a form of fusion. In the 21st century, secularism and evangelical Protestantism have also become predominant expressions. This week will explore the rich intermingling of all these traditions.
Opening the week is Kenneth P. Serbin, professor and chair in the Department of History at the University of San Diego. His research spans the fields of Brazilian social, cultural, political and religious history as well as the history of science, technology and medicine. His Brazil-related projects have focused on the history of the Catholic Church, the relationship between religion and democracy, the revolutionary left in contemporary society, and society, religion, and reproductive issues.
Tuesday lecturer Kelly E. Hayes is associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University-Indianapolis. She has been conducting field research on religion in Brazil since 1997. The author of Holy Harlots: Femininity, Sexuality, and Black Magic in Brazil and numerous scholarly articles, Hayes has received fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is a two-time Fulbright Scholar
Rachel Elizabeth Harding, speaking Wednesday, is assistant professor of indigenous spiritual traditions in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Denver. A writer, historian and poet, she is a specialist in religions of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora and studies the relationship between religion, creativity and social justice activism in cross-cultural perspective. Harding is author of A Refuge in Thunder: Candomblé and Alternative Spaces of Blackness as well as numerous poems and essays.
John S. Burdick, the Thursday lecturer, is professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Syracuse University. He has conducted research in Brazil for the past 30 years on the influence of religion on movements for social and cultural change. His publications include The Color of Sound: Race, Religion and Music in Brazil, Blessed Anastácia: Women, Race, and Popular Christianity in Brazil and dozens of peer-reviewed articles.
Friday lecturer Jeffrey Lesser is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Brazilian Studies and chair of the Department of History at Emory University. His newest book, Immigration, Ethnicity and National Identity in Brazil, examines the immigration to Brazil of millions of Europeans, Asians and Middle Easterners beginning in the 19th century.
Evening Arts Performances
At the top of Week Five will be the original inter-arts production, Go West!, a collaboration of Chautauqua Institution’s resident theater, opera, symphony, dance, music and visual arts programs. Directed by Andrew Borba, Go West! investigates the American impulse to pioneer. The one-night-only performance takes place at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater.
In addition, Chautauqua Theater Company concludes its second mainstage production, The May Queen, with performances at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, and 2:15 p.m. and at 8 p.m. Sunday. All performances take place in Bratton Theater. Then, Chautauqua Dance presents “Dance Innovations” at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Amphitheater, with the world premiere of a Sasha Janes and Mark Diamond piece, commissioned by Chautauquan Kay Logan, based on Benjamin Britten’s “Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge.” In addition, Chautauqua Opera Company stages The Ballad of Baby Doe at 7:30 p.m. Monday, in Norton Hall.
Live performances from the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra take place at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday with guest conductor Maximiano Valdés, a candidate for the CSO’s open music director position. Then, at 8:15 p.m. Friday, the Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby Campfire Tour takes the Amphitheater stage.