The Calumet Roundtable: A Discussion with Samantha Joyce

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-05-04 21:27Z by Steven

The Calumet Roundtable: A Discussion with Samantha Joyce

The Calumet Roundtable

Lee Artz, Host and Professor of Communication
Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana

Samantha Joyce, Professor of Mass Communication
Indiana University, South Bend

In this episode of “The Calumet Roundtable,” host Dr. Lee Artz, Professor of Communication at Purdue University Calumet, and guest Dr. Samantha Joyce, Professor of Mass Communication at Indiana University South Bend, chat about the representation of race and gender in telenovelas in Brazil. Telenovelas are respected, serious television programs in Brazil and Latin America which air six days a week for approximately nine months, usually containing a mix of real life issues and melodrama. Joyce gives a brief explanation of the history of race equality in Brazil. Artz and Joyce compare the miniseries in the United States to telenovelas in Brazil, and they talk about socially progressive messages in telenovelas.

Joyce wrote “Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy,” which is an open textual analysis of the telenovela “Duas Caras.” This program was the first of its kind to present audiences with an Afro-Brazilian hero.

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Review of Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy by Samantha Nogueira Joyce

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2013-11-03 00:35Z by Steven

Review of Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy by Samantha Nogueira Joyce

TriQuarterly: a journal of writing, art, and cultural inquiry from Northwestern University
Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois

Reighan Gillam, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

Telenovelas, or soap operas, are the main staple of television entertainment throughout Brazil and in many other Latin American countries. Unlike in the United States, where soap operas can run for decades, in Brazil telenovelas end after presenting their storyline over a six- to eight-month period. They are designed to attract men, women, and children as viewers and have dominated in television’s primetime slots for the last thirty years. Although the plotlines, characters, and settings are fleeting, telenovelas have remained Brazilians’ favorite form of primetime entertainment.

Often Latin American telenovelas have served as vehicles to introduce social issues by depicting a common problem, such as gender inequality or limited access for the disabled, in order to raise awareness and stimulate discussion. In Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy, Samantha Nogueira Joyce takes one particular telenovela, Duas Caras (Two Faces), as her subject of study. Running for eight months in 2007–8, this telenovela deserves particular scrutiny because it was the first to include an Afro-Brazilian actor as the lead character and the first to make race relations and racism a constant theme. Joyce uses this telenovela as an opportunity to examine the role of television in contemporary currents of social change in Brazil. Through her analysis of Duas Caras, Joyce aims to demonstrate how “telenovelas are a powerful tool for introducing topics for debate and pro-social change, such as the instances where the dialogues openly challenge previously ingrained racist ideas in Brazilian society.”

The myth of racial democracy to which Joyce’s title refers is the Brazilian national narrative that defines the country’s citizens and identity as racially mixed. Put simply, it is generally thought that the Brazilian populace and culture emerged from a mixing of European, indigenous, and African people. Many believe that because there are no rigid racial lines that delineate black from white in Brazil, racism and racial discrimination do not exist there. In contrast to the “one-drop rule” of the United States, where “one drop of black blood” renders a person black, in Brazil, Joyce explains, “the racial blending has been validated not into a binary, but a ternary racial classification that differentiates the population into brancos (whites), pardos (multiracial individuals, also popularly known as mulatos), and pretos (blacks).”…

Read the entire review here.

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Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-02-20 20:59Z by Steven

Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Lexington Books
March 2012
136 pages
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7391-6964-3
eBook ISBN: 978-0-7391-6965-0

Samantha Nogueira Joyce, Assistant Professor in Communication Studies
Indiana University, South Bend

Brazilian Telenovelas and the Myth of Racial Democracy, by Samantha Nogueira Joyce, examines what happens when a telenovela directly addresses matters of race and racism in contemporary Brazil. This investigation provides a traditional textual analysis of Duas Caras (2007-2008), a watershed telenovela for two main reasons: It was the first of its kind to present audiences with an Afro-Brazilian as the main hero, openly addressing race matters through plot and dialogue. Additionally, for the first time in the history of Brazilian television, the author of Duas Caras kept a web blog where he discussed the public’s reactions to the storylines, media discussions pertaining to the characters and plot, and directly engaged with fans and critics of the program.

Joyce combines her investigation of Duas Caras with a study of related media in order to demonstrate how the program introduced novel ideas about race and also offered a forum where varying perspectives on race, class, and racial relations in Brazil could be discussed. Brazilian Telenovelas is not a reception study in the traditional sense, it is not a story of entertainment-education in the strict sense, and it is not solely a textual analysis. Instead, Joyce’s text is a study of the social milieu that the telenovela (and especially Duas Caras) navigates, one that is a component of a contemporary progressive social movement in Brazil, and one that views the text as being located in social interactions. As such, this book reveals how telenovelas contribute to social change in a way that has not been fully explored in previous scholarship.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter I – Episode 1: And Let There be White
  • Chapter II – Black Flows: Duas Caras / The Legacy of Whitening and Racial Democracy
  • Chapter III – “My Little Whitey” / “My Big, Delicious Negro:” Telenovelas, Duas Caras, and the Representation of Race
  • Chapter IV – Deu no Blogão! (“It was in the Big Blog!”): Writing a Telenovela, a Blog, and a Metadiscourse
  • Chapter V – Duas Caras as a New Approach to Social Merchandising
  • Chapter VI – Conclusions
  • References
  • About the Author
  • Index
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Race Matters: Race, Telenovela Representation, and Discourse in Contemporary Brazil

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science on 2012-05-10 03:03Z by Steven

Race Matters: Race, Telenovela Representation, and Discourse in Contemporary Brazil

University of Iowa
May 2010
193 pages

Samantha Nogueira Joyce

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication Studies in the Graduate College of The University of Iowa

In Race Matters: Race, Telenovela Representation, and Discourse in Contemporary Brazil, I investigate the primetime telenovela Duas Caras (2008), examining how different factors such as narrative, audience reaction, as well as media criticism and commentary played a dynamic role in creating a meta-discourse about race in contemporary Brazil. In a larger sense, I examine how the social discourse about contemporary race relations and racism in that country were circulated, constructed and reconstructed during the time the program aired. Additionally, I explore the role of the media, particularly the telenovela, in debunking the idea that Brazil is a racial democracy. Secondly, the research incorporates the Brazilian notion that telenovelas are “open texts”, meaning they are co-authored by a variety of industrial, creative, cultural and social actors, into a methodological approach that expands the traditional idea of textual analysis. In addition to reading the telenovela text itself, this study investigates the production process, audience responses and broader media coverage. Thus, the public discourse about the telenovelas is a key part of the text itself.


    • Introduction
    • Method
    • “Data” (Textual) Analysis
    • Cultural Value
    • Literature Review
    • Brazilian Television History
    • Soap Operas Vs Telenovelas: ‘Distant Relatives’
    • The Centrality of Telenovelas
    • Audience, Democratic Participation and Publis Spheres
    • Entertainment-Education
    • Ethical Dilemas
    • Conclusions: Current Reality, Future Possibilities
    • Outline of Chapters
    • Race and Raça. The United States and Brazil: Similar History, Disparate Outcomes
    • The Culteral Role of Narratives of Cross-Racial Love
    • The Black Movement in Brazil
    • Affirmative Action Policies, Quotas and Racial Identity In Brazil
    • Conclusions
    • Brazilian Blacks and TV
    • Historical Uses of Racial Stereotypes. American and Brazilian TV
    • Representing Contradicions: Evilásio’s Case
    • From a Traditionally “White Priviledged” Space to “Multicolored Duas Caras”
    • Duas Caras, Ratings, Racism and Public Pressure
    • My Little Whitey and My Big Delicious Negro
    • Mãe Setembrina
    • The Barretos
    • The Role of Ratings: IBOPE
    • Conclusions
    • The Social Merchandising Approach
    • E-E and SM: Similarities and Disparities
    • Emotional Involvement and Personal Agendas
    • Duas Caras as the “Future of E-E”
    • Racial Matters as a “Social Good”
    • E-E, SM and the Importance of Celebrity
    • Conclusions

Read the entire dissertation here.

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