Panel 24: Brazilian Culture and Society in North American Library Collections (2015)
Moderator: Gayle A. Williams, Florida International University
Rapporteur: Jade Kara Mishler, Tulane University
T-Kay Sangwand, University of Texas at Austin
A procura da batida perfeita: The Art of (Collecting) Brazilian Hip Hop
Suzanne M. Schadl & Viviane Ferreira de Faria, University of New Mexico
Borderlands Reinvented and Revisited: Third Space Intersections of Portuguese Language Literature in Print and Image
Sócrates Silva, University of California, Santa Barbara
Samba, choro, baião: Documenting Early Brazilian Sound Recordings at the UCSB Library
Donald M. Vorp, Princeton Theological Seminary Library
Studying Brazilian Christianity in Princeton
T-Kay Sangwand presented on collecting Brazilian hip hop at the University of Texas. She spoke about the historical trajectory of hip hop and identified trends and gaps in the scholarly conversation. T-Kay explained different ways in which she has obtained Brazilian hip hop materials for the library. She has had success working with vendors. LC Rio had been particularly amenable to acquiring a subscription to "Rap Nacional," a key Brazilian hip hop journal. Through acquisitions trips T-Kay was able to attend hip hop shows, buy directly from artists and access the underground hip hop scene. T-Kay has worked directly with graduate students and faculty to identify materials of interest. Lastly, T-Kay recognized potential challenges that collecting hip hop presents. She spoke about audiovisual material being published on the internet through blogs, websites, and youtube, as well as important hip hop groups that function primarily on Facebook. She asked, "How can the library capture these types of material and provide access to them?"
Suzanne M. Schadl and Viviane Ferreira de Faria presented on two art exhibitions they curated: "AfroBrasil: Art and Identities" in August 2015 and "Borderlands Reinvented and Revisited: Portuguese Language and Literature in Print and Image" in fall 2015. Viviane explained that they designed the exhibitions with the following users in mind: the academic community, library users, the local community and the international community. Both exhibits were comprised of library collections, including special collections, canonical texts, cordeis, cartoneras, graphic novels, and films. They creatively used the space. Local musicians were invited to the opening reception of the "Borderlands" exhibit. The "AfroBrasil" exhibit included Candomblé altars.
Sócrates Silva presented on two current initiatives at the UCSB Library to document music production. The first, Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), is a database that documents the output of American record companies during the 78rpm era. DAHR includes more than 100,000 master recordings (matrixes). There are 467 Brazilian Victor recordings in the database that were added from secondary sources. In 2012 the USCB Library received a $239,600 grant in order to Catalog 18,000 78s from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain from the 1900s-1960s (the bulk of them are from 1900s-1940s).
Donald M. Vorp presented on the Princeton Theological Seminary Library and their collections. The Seminary Library houses more than a million items and is considered one of the premier theological research centers. In the 1970's Latin American and Iberian materials started being collected at the Seminary Library. There are now more than 25,000 volumes in Spanish and Portuguese and 1,300 current and historical periodicals from Latin American and the Iberian Peninsula. Donald explained that the Seminary Library has numerous collections of interest for the study of Brazilian Christianity/Christianities. Of Special note are the microfilm collections, such as the Iglesia en Brasil collection. The library also has relevant journals, such as "Estudos Biblicos," "Revista de Interpretação Biblica Latino-Americana," and "Estudos de Religião." Some Brazilian theologians are active participants in the Global Network for Public Theology that was founded at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton in 2007. The Global Network is associated with the "International Journal of Public Theology," which devoted a special issue in 2012 to “Public Theology in Brazil”.
Jade Mishler asked Suzanne M. Schadl and Viviane Ferreira de Faria if putting together scholarly and popular resources and working with the public at large was an idea born in the library or if it was directly related to a larger university mission. Viviane said that these ideas were generated out of the library. They wanted to make the special collections more accessible, visible and to integrate them. Suzanne said it came out of trying to challenge a healthy collection budget with materials that are primary in scope, and could be utilized by students, community members, graduate students and faculty members. She said that there is an ongoing administrative-level and faculty level conversation at UNM about community engagement.
Carlos Navarro (University of New Mexico) asked if there is hip hop coming out of favelas in Rio. T-Kay said that Baile Funk came out of Rio and is similar to hip hop in some ways. She contrasted the drug trafficking and consumerist lyrics in Baile Funk with more politically conscious hip hop lyrics. T-Kay said that there is some politically conscious hip hop coming out of Rio. There are community centers that are trying to attract members with hip hop.
T-Kay asked Donald if there are music ethnologists or theologians looking at the evangelist messages in Brazilian gospel rap. Donald said he wasn't aware of any theologians working on that.
Gayle Williams asked T-Kay if she's seen Cordel Literature that is about hip hop or hip hop that mentions Cordel literature. T-Kay said she's not that familiar with Cordel literature and isn't sure. Viviane said that Cordel literature tends to react to everything and she wouldn't be surprised. Suzanne said that some Samba artists were featured in the Cordel literature in their exhibit.
Viviane asked Donald how he has perceived the ascendance of Evangelism in Brazil with both the people and within congress. She asked if Donald could foresee the election of an Evangelic president within the next two elections. Donald said there are internal conflicts among the Brazilian evangelicals and it's been interesting to see how one group ascends over the other. He said there are a growing number of evangelicals trying to engage with social realities in Brazilian culture, which leads them to political engagement.