Breaking Boundaries Abroad (Brazil)

To explore the shifting and fluid nature of global borders, Prof. Medina traveled with a group of A&S undergraduates to Brazil in the Summer of 2016.

This story appeared in The Thinker, the newsletter of the UofL College of Arts and Sciences. Fall 2016.Students taken part in the Brazilian Studies Program during a visit to an after-school program in the state of São Paulo.

 Boundaries are used to delineate geographic areas, economic and social class, gender, race, education, and nearly every other detail of our lives. These boundaries give the illusion that life is predictable and easily defined. But Prof. Manuel Medina (Classical & Modern Languages) seeks to impress upon his students that boundaries rarely line up neatly, and are constantly being redrawn .

"Different worlds share the same space, and perceptions are often false," said Medina, whose research focuses on urban theory as it relates to spaces, particularly in the arts.

To explore the shifting and fluid nature of global borders, Prof. Medina traveled with a group of A&S undergraduates to Brazil this summer. The trip allowed students to earn credit for courses in the Departments of Classical & Modern Languages and Comparative Humanities, serve in community service projects, participate in outreach work with at-risk students in a local school, and visit several social justice projects.

In additi n, Prof. Charles Nasby, technical production supervisor in the Department of Theatre Arts, and several theatre arts undergraduates attended and conducted workshops at Brazil's UNESP's Institute of Fine Arts.

"Students perceptions of themselves and the world around them changed so dramatically during those four weeks in Brazil," Medina said. "This experience had an enormous impact on their future."