Brazilian figurines


Afro-Brazilian Culture and Popular Brazilian Music

The Brazil program will not be offered in 2014; it is scheduled to be offered in Summer 2015. Updated information for Summer 2015 will be available in Fall 2014.


festival in SalvadorProgram Overview

About Salvador



Field Trips




General Summer Program Information

Eligibility and Application Procedures

Application Deadline




Temple University in Brazil: Afro-Brazilian Culture and Popular Brazilian Music provides exceptional educational opportunities for undergraduate students of African-American studies, Latin American studies, Portuguese, Spanish, history, music, dance, art and related disciplines to study Brazilian culture, civilization and music. Based in the historic city of Salvador, the program includes two Latin American Studies courses taught in English by Dr. Kenneth Dossar of Temple University, as well as supplementary non-credit Portuguese language instruction provided by Diálogo Language School during the first half of the program. Through cultural workshops, field trips and meetings with local leaders and artists, students have access to a variety of unique experiences.

Salvador, Bahia


Salvador, Bahia, a vigorous city of nearly three million inhabitants in northeastern Brazil, is situated between green tropical hills and the broad beaches along the Bay of All Saints. The first capital of Brazil, Salvador was built on two levels, with administration buildings and residences constructed on the hill, and forts, docks and warehouses on the beaches. Salvador was the earliest and most important point of entry for Africans taken to Brazil during the Atlantic slave trade. From the 1500s to the late 1800s, a significant number of enslaved Africans, sugar, tobacco, gold and diamonds passed through Salvador, which at that time was Brazil’s busiest port. This was a prosperous period for the town; magnificent homes and churches resplendent in gold decoration were built. Many of the city’s baroque churches, private homes, squares and even the hand-chipped paving bricks have been preserved as part of Brazil’s historic patrimony.

In Salvador, more than anywhere else in the country, the African influence
in Brazilian culture is readily visible in the religious festivals and ceremonies of
candomblé that honor African deities, the spicy dishes with African names such as acaraje, and the capoeira schools where a unique African form of ritualistic fighting is taught. Salvador is also the center for traditional and contemporary Afro-Brazilian art and culture, and is famous for its Afro-Brazilian carnival groups — Blocos and Afoxes. Salvador’s artistic and religious groups are the foundation of an important social movement in Brazil, educating Brazilians and visitors about Bahia’s African roots.

Salvador, Bahia market and harbor


Classes are held at Diálogo Language School in the Barra neighborhood, a vibrant shoreline community that is in walking distance of the student apartments. The area is well known for its eating places, shops and historical landmarks, including its lighthouse and forts. Classes are held Monday through Thursday mornings and early afternoons. On Fridays and mid-afternoons students take part in specialized workshops and class trips, attend sessions featuring guest lecturers, and go on excursions throughout Salvador. Some program activities are centered in Pelourinho, the historic center of the city. This district is an exciting location that is filled with many cultural institutions and is the site of weekly cultural events.

Students enroll in two courses taught in English by Dr. Dossar, for a total of six credits: Latin American Studies 3801: African Culture in Brazil (3 cr) and Latin American Studies 2010: Topics in Latin American Studies I: Popular Music in Brazil (3 cr).

Latin American Studies 3801: African Culture in Brazil examines the history of Africans in Brazil. Drawing upon various disciplines (history, art, architecture, anthropology, etc.), students explore Brazil’s rich and diverse heritage: European, African and Amerindian. Special focus will be placed on Bântu-Kôngo culture of West Central Africa, and to the Yoruba and Fon cultures of Western Africa that transferred to Brazil from the 16th through 19th centuries. Course themes investigate concepts of cultural continuation and adaptation, and the emergence of Afro-Brazilian culture. Topics explored include: enslavement, the formation of group identity; spiritual traditions; quilombos and early resistance movements; institution building; women’s roles in society; contemporary political movements; and traditional and contemporary creative expressions.

Latin American Studies 2010: Topics in Latin American Studies I: Popular Music in Brazil provides students with an introduction to the cultural history of an array of forms of music developed in Brazil. The course explores the general areas of the functions of music in traditional and contemporary society; secular and sacred music idioms; and the music/dance complex. Additionally, the course examines the role of music and dance traditions in shaping racial identities particularly in Brazil’s northeast. Students are introduced to specific types of Brazilian music, meet musicians, and participate in music and dance workshops. This course utilizes archival audio and video recording as well as CD Rom presentations.

In addition to the two courses, the program includes supplementary non-credit Portuguese language instruction during the first half of the program. No prior background in Portuguese is required for program participation.

Temple students who successfully complete this program automatically satisfy the World Society (GG) requirement of GenEd.


local musician


Dr. Kenneth Dossar of Temple University directs the program. He is an arts consultant and cultural historian who works closely with numerous cultural/arts organizations in creating public programs that explore the common heritage of people of African descent. He has performed field research in the Caribbean and Cuba on the continuance of African traditions in music, dance, belief systems and other cultural practices. Since 1983, he has traveled to Brazil to research Bahia’s African heritage. For seven years, Dr. Dossar produced the popular program of African Atlantic music - Under One Sun - for the Temple University radio network. He has assisted national and local arts institutions in producing cultural and educational exchange projects with Brazil. Professor Dossar is a founding member and President of the Brasil Cultural Center of Philadelphia, a not-for profit organization with the objective of promoting Brazilian culture, history and contemporary issues in the Philadelphia region. Through the Partners of the Americas, he has represented the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on numerous cultural delegations.



Students will have the opportunity to participate in cultural workshops, such as dance, cooking, and/or capoeira, the popular Afro-Brazilian martial art. Weekly field trips both in and around the city expose students to daily life in Salvador, as well as to the many vibrant cultural sites of the area. Students will meet and interact with traditional leaders, community activists, artists and musicians. Field trips include visiting colonial towns in Bahia’s historic region of the Recôncavo, such as Santiago do Iguape and Cachoeira, where students meet members of the Irmandade da Boa Morte, a religious confraternity developed in the early 19th century by enslaved African women.



All participants live in shared apartments. Each unit in the Condominio Ed. Costa Dourada, located in the upscale neighborhood of Graça, accommodates two to three students. Within a short walk, students can find banks, pharmacies, markets, laundry services, delicatessens and convenience stores. Located near Barra beach, and just a 15-minute bus ride from the historic city center, the building has quick and easy access to bus lines and taxi service. The furnished apartments have a living area, air conditioned sleeping area, bathroom and shower, television, service area and full kitchen. In addition, the Condominio Ed. Costa Dourada has complete security and a professional team of employees to make visitors feel at home. Students are able to make light meals, and are also given a list of affordable restaurants. Students are responsible for paying for electricity, including air conditioning. Note that Internet access is not provided in the apartments; students may access the Internet at one of the local Internet cafes.





Budget Item

Pennsylvania    Resident


Billable Item


Undergraduate Tuition* (6 credits)



Brazil Fee**

   University Services Fee
   Required Health Insurance

Non-Billable Item





Personal Expenses






Round-Trip Airfare



Visa-Related Expenses



Recommended Immunizations



   Electricity Used in Apartments




All estimated costs are subject to change. They should be used as a guideline only. Accepted students will receive updated detailed cost information as soon as it is available after the application deadline.

*Per university policy, Temple students who are considered “upper division” are charged additional tuition per credit in the summer (Pennsylvania Residents: additional $14 per credit; Non-Pennsylvania Residents: additional $48 per credit). “Upper division” is defined as an undergraduate student with a minimum of 60 earned credits, regardless of how obtained. This policy does not affect non-Temple students.

**The Brazil Fee includes housing and local program-related travel. Please note that this fee is based on last year's fee and will be updated.

In addition to the items above, students should budget money for any additional personal expenses.


2013 CALENDAR (Summer II)

Dates are tentative and subject to change.


 Departure July 5
 Arrival in Brazil July 6
 Program Ends August 16




Please see General Summer Information to read about pre-departure information and orientation; passports and visas; scholarships; costs and payment policies; accreditation; and transfer of credits.



Please see Eligibility and Application Procedures for program eligibility, application requirements, and application procedures that apply to all summer programs. In addition, for the Brazil program, the following is required:

  • A typed statement (recommended length of 750 words) describing your expectations and interests regarding the Brazil program, and specifying what you ultimately hope to gain from the study abroad experience. Students are asked to complete this statement within the application system.

  • Some experience or working knowledge of Latin American-related subject matter is desirable.

  • All candidates are interviewed either personally, by telephone or by Skype.


APPLICATION DEADLINE: february 15, 2013




For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Kenneth Dossar, Intellectual Heritage Program, Temple University,


Education Abroad; 215-204-0720;