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Sertanejos, Androids, and Citizens: Tom Zé and Brazilian Modernity

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

16 Sep
Brazil Seminar King's College London

Speaker: Professor Christopher Dunn, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University

Sertanejos, Androids, and Citizens: Tom Zé and Brazilian Modernity

One of the great musical innovators of our time, Antonio José Martins Santana (b. 1936), known as Tom Zé, has received critical acclaim at home in Brazil, as well as in Europe and the United States. His life story and artistic trajectory offer a microhistorical prism through which to examine a range of topics, including modernization and uneven development, rural to urban migration, authoritarian rule and state-sponsored violence, as well as inequality and neoliberalism in Brazil during the last half century. His work also provides an exquisite example of the creative repurposing of cultural tradition in dialogue with experimental music and poetics.


Chris Dunn received his PhD in Luso-Brazilian Studies from Brown University in 1996. He is the author, among other works, of Brutality Garden: Tropicalia and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture (University of North Carolina Press, 2001); Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (Routledge, 2001, co-edited with Charles Perrone); Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship (Duke University Press, 2011, co-edited with Idelber Avelar); and Contracultura: Alternative Arts and Social Transformation in Authoritarian Brazil (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). 

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