Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education


Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 12:00pm


CGIS South, S050, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Rebecca Tarlau, Assistant Professor of Education and of Labor and Employment Relations, Pennsylvania State University
Moderator: Sidney Chalhoub, Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, affiliated with Romance Languages and Literatures

Rebecca TarlauRebecca Tarlau will present on her recently published book, Occupying Schools, Occupying Land (2019 Oxford University Press), which explores how activists from the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) have pressured municipalities, states, and the federal government to implement pedagogical practices fostering activism, direct democracy, and collective forms of work in public schools and universities, affecting hundreds of thousands of students.

Rebecca Tarlau is an Assistant Professor of Education and Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University, affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program, and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. She has a PhD in Education from the University of California, Berkeley (2014) and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University (2015-2017). Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) Theories of the state and state-society relations; (2) Social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; (3) Latin American education and development.

Sidney Chalhoub taught history at the University of Campinas, Brazil, for thirty years. He moved to Harvard in July 2015. He has published three books on the social history of Rio de Janeiro: Trabalho, lar e botequim (1986), on working-class culture in the early twentieth century; Visões da liberdade (1990), on the last decades of slavery in the city; and Cidade febril (1996), on tenements and epidemics in the second half of the nineteenth century. He also published Machado de Assis, historiador (2003), about the literature and political ideas of the most important nineteenth-century Brazilian novelist, and co-edited five other books on the social history of Brazil. His most recent monograph is A força da escravidão: ilegalidade e costume no Brasil oitocentista (2012), on illegal enslavement and the precariousness of freedom in nineteenth-century Brazil. Chalhoub has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (1995, 1999, 2004), a Tinker Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago (2007), and a research fellow at Stanford University (2010-11) and in the International Research Center “Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History” (Re:work) at Humbold Universität, Berlin (2013). He was a founder of and remains associated with the Centro de Pesquisa em História Social da Cultura (CECULT), University of Campinas.