Jewish Life in Bahia, Brazil: A Dialogue with Fiction

Speaker: Nelson Cerqueira, Federal University of Bahia

This lecture aims firstly to provide a brief survey of Jewish migration to the State of Bahia, Brazil, focusing on the settlement of Jewish citizens escaping from the Inquisition in the Iberian Peninsula, and those expelled by the Portuguese Court. In light of this historical framework, the paper deals with the memoirs of a novelistic Jewish character born in the small town of Jacobina, struggling to rise socially and economically. A brief summary of his adventures will be depicted.  The fictional memoirs form part of Professor Cerqueira’s recently completed novel, Martin: judeu brasileiro sem dinheiro (Martin: A Brazilian Jew Without Money), which is currently under contract and scheduled for publication (2017, Imago).

Nelson Cerqueira is a distinguished literary theorist and Professor of Literature, Hermeneutics, and Law at the Federal University of Bahia.  Professor Cerqueira received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University.  As a Professor, Cerqueira has pioneered the application of comparative methodologies to the study of Luso-Brazilian and Latin American literature from a global perspective.  Professor Cerqueira’s research and teaching interests focus on constructions of Jewishness, aesthetic representations of injustice and revolution, the relationship between law, politics, and aesthetics (particularly in the context of Latin American literary and cultural studies), and the intersection of philosophy and critical theory more broadly.  Professor Cerqueira is the author of A Visit to Jorge Amado (2013, Imago), Aesthetic Response to the Poetry of Agostinho Neto (2013, Imago), Marxist Criticism of Franz Kafka (2005, Cara), Hermeneutics and Literature (2003, Cara), and The Communist Party Policies and the Question of Realism in Jorge Amado (1987, Casa de Palavras). 


Spanish and Portuguese


Michelle Pugliese


Anderson Hall
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