The University of Wisconsin Press

Theatre and Drama / Gay & Lesbian Studies / Latin American Studies

Tentative Transgressions
Homosexuality, AIDS, and the Theater in Brazil
Severino J. Albuquerque

Co-winner of the 2004 Roberto Reis BRASA Book Award, which recognizes the two best books in Brazilian Studies that contribute significantly to promoting an understanding of Brazil

"Albuquerque's work . . . provides an archaeology of theatrical representations of homosexuality in Brazil, an alternative history of Brazilian theater from the margins, a critical analysis of canonical and non-canonical plays infused with the insights of feminist and queer theory, as well as a history of the representation of AIDS in Brazilian culture."—Fernando Arenas, University of Minnesota

Brazilian theater has been a privileged stage for the playing out of divergent approaches to difference and transgression apparent in Brazilian culture. Severino Albuquerque analyzes the theatrical portrayal of transgression in Brazil throughout the twentieth century and examines how gay imagery was affected by the modernist movement and other cultural forces.  Following changing theatrical motifs through the decades, Albuquerque shows how the theater could indulge in otherwise silenced ideas and representations of deviation from social norms. In Brazil, as in much of the world, AIDS is a prominent metaphor for any infringement on what is considered normal—linking sex, race, class, and politics.  Albuquerque illustrates how theater became an invaluable player in the effort to associate art and education, entertainment and civics, drama and activism.

Severino J. Albuquerque is a professor of Portuguese and director of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  He is also coeditor of Luso-Brazilian Review  and recipient of the 2002 University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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An evocative photo of a veiled face illustrates the cover of Albuquerque's book.

December 2003
LC: 2003005649 PQ
240 pp.   6 x 9   10 b/w photos

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Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-18924-2
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"Albuquerque has produced a first-rate analysis of the presentations (and absences) of images of homosexualities in twentieth-century Brazilian theater."
—James Green, author of Beyond Carnival

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Updated July 13, 2012

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