Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Anágua" is Portuguese for Petticoat

Dearest wild petticoat rustlers! I have much good news to share! There has been a lot happening recently; some very exciting new literary horizons are coming into view. For instance, I graduated from my Masters program and was accepted to the phD program...YAY!
My husband and I in front of the Spanish and Portuguese building on commencement day. 
My wonderful parents came up from Arizona to see the graduation and celebrate with us! 
Isn't my building such a beautiful place?! So academic-y. 
My dog got his Master's in Cutenessology.
In my application to the phD program, I proposed to study Brazilian oral narrative of the sertão region (a large region that spans from the northeastern to the southeastern corner of the country). I will have to work this summer to define more precisely what stories I will be studying, so I have been catching up on a lot of great lusophone literature! I am searching high and low for any stories cowboy-related... let me know if you've read any Brazilian cowboy novels, poems or short stories!

Not too long ago, I discovered the work of Luís Fabini, an Uruguayan photographer living and working with cowboy communities all over the Americas. The photographs he took of the pantaneiros or vaqueiros (as cowboys are known in Brazil) are really inspiring me. Here are a couple of my favorites:

In addition to studying cowboys, for many years I've been reading and researching the hybrid poetic tradition known as literatura de cordel (I did a whole post on this poetic tradition!). I am hoping to incorporate this poetry into my thesis as well-- I'll keep you posted!

And that brings me to some really exciting news... I'm going to Brazil! In order to kickstart my research and gather hard-to-find Brazilian books, I will be attending two conferences this summer in the Brazilian state of Maranhão. I will be there towards the end of June, during a traditional folk festival called "Bumba meu boi." This is an all-night festival that includes elaborate costumes and rhythmic music, played collectively by the entire community.

Through the middle of the streets, a mythological story is enacted, involving a bull (boi) who is killed and then later resurrected.

This folk tradition has been around since the 18th century, taking place every year during the junina festival, which celebrates the nativity of Saint John the Baptist.

Check out this video to get an idea of what it is going to be like! (The first 30 seconds of the video is just talking, but then it starts to show the festival.) I am so excited to be able to witness this first hand!

I hope that all of you have some good new reading material for summer, too! What's on your shelf? Any poetry? Any cowboy stories? As always, keep rustling!

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