Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies Public Programming

The Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies' rich programming includes sponsored seminars and lectures on contemporary and historical aspects of Brazil, including culture, economics, and politics. The LCBS serves as a regular forum for lectures and conferences by visiting Brazilian academics, government officials, business leaders, political actors, and representatives of civil society. The LCBS typically organizes or co-sponsors more than forty events a year.

The LCBS has hosted leading Brazilianist scholars and well prominent political figures including President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Minister Marina Silva, President Dilma Rousseff, and São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad. Past guests have also included renowned economist Edmar Bacha, former Central Bank Presidents Arminio Fraga and Henrique Meirelles, Ambassadors Antonio Patriota and Alfredo Graça Lima.

Our main public programming includes a weekly Brazil Research Seminar, and a bi-monthly seminar on the Political, Social, and Economic Development of Brazil. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the LCBS sponsored or co-sponsored 47 events, including two conferences. We hosted the 2019 Lemann Dialogues Conference: Bridging Scholarship and Action (November 14-15, 2019), in collaboration with Teachers College, SIPA, Harvard University, the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and Stanford University. The conference keynote was distinguished author, journalist, and public health expert Dr. Drauzio Varella. Other notable speakers included Ilona Szabo (Igarapé Institute), Joana Monteiro (Rio de Janeiro's Prosecutor Office), Marcia Castro (Harvard University), Eduardo Leite (Governor of Rio Grande do Sul), Katia Schweickardt (Secretary of Education, Municipality of Manaus), and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz (USP). The LCBS also hosted a Conference on Conservatism and Authoritarianism in Brazil, in collaboration with Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences of UNICAMP) (February 14, 2020).

In addition to conferences organized, we have hosted numerous prominent intellectuals, public figures, activists, and artists through seminars, roundtable discussions, and other events. Among our notable visitors to campus this academic year were Sônia Guajajara [leader of the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)], Marina Silva (former Senator and former Minister of the Environment), Célia Xakriabá (Indigenous activist), Marcio Fortes (former Senator and former President of the Brazilian National Develoment Bank), Senator Jacques Wagner, Raul Jungmann (former Brazilian Minister of Public Security, former Minister of Defense, and former Congressman), Marcelo Neri (Economist and Director of FGV Social), Andre d’Almeida Monteiro (Chief Risk Officer, Brazil Stock Exchange), Pedro Olinto (Lead Economist, World Bank), and Ronaldo Lemos [co-founder and director of the Institute for Technology & Society (ITS)].  Artists that have been hosted on campus this past academic year included renowned musician Caetano Veloso, director and actor Wagner Moura, and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Petra Costa.

In developing our program, we collaborate with other Columbia-affiliated entities in developing and organizing events, including Teachers College, School of International and Public Affairs, and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. The LCBS works very closely with the Columbia University Global Center | Rio de Janeiro. The Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro is a hub for Columbia programs and initiatives relevant to Brazil. Established in 2013, the Center contributes to Brazil's academic and research environment, while also allowing members of the Columbia community to increase their knowledge and explore academic opportunities within Brazil.

The LCBS also works closely with student groups in developing seminars and events, including the undergraduate Brazilian Society and the graduate student Brazil Talk organization. In its public programming and other initiatives, the LCBS collaborates with student groups throughout the campus focused on Brazil, including:

  • Brazil Talk is a student group, primarily involving SIPA students, but open to participation by students across the University. Brazil Talk's online platform is designed to disseminate knowledge on current issues regarding Brazilian society, economy, and politics. Brazil Talk is also actively involved in organizing academic, public policy, and social events, often in collaboration with the LCBS
  • The Brazilian Society at Columbia University is the official student club for all who are fond of Brazil and would like to explore this country and its rich culture. The group organizes major national events with renowned guest speakers, informal community-building activities, and partnerships with other Latin American organizations
  • Brazilian Students Association (Teachers College) aims to bring the Columbia community together to encourage reflection, share knowledge, and inspire studies and initiatives about education in Brazil
  • Columbia Law School Brazilian Association was founded to create a community of those interested in the Brazilian legal environment and to facilitate academic, cultural, and business interchanges between Brazil and the United States

Our public programming often involves collaborations with other academic institutions (e.g., Brown University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, UNICAMP, and the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign), and other outside organizations (e.g., the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, and the Americas’ Society/Council of the Americas).