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KU professor, Brazil native can discuss country's impeachment proceedings

Thursday, April 21, 2016

LAWRENCE — Brazil’s lower house of Congress has voted by a wide margin to impeach embattled President Dilma Rousseff, but the fight over whether she is removed from office is far from over. An impeachment trial could begin in May, yet there are numerous questions looming over the proceedings.

Antonio Luciano Tosta, assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas, is available to speak with media about the ongoing controversy, Rousseff’s presidency, the scandal at the heart of the impeachment talks, succession plans should Rousseff be impeached, Brazil’s political history and related topics.

"This is a very sensitive period in Brazilian history. Apparently, the country is divided politically between right and left, the elites and the masses, and north and south,” Tosta said. “However, this is a simplification of the current state of affairs. No matter whether for or against an imminent impeachment, Brazilians are explicitly dissatisfied with the current administration and the country's tradition of corruption. Nevertheless, there is great fear of what lies ahead, since neither the vice president nor the speaker of the Lower House, who are next in succession, have the population's support and trust either."

Tosta, a native of Salvador, Brazil, co-edited the recently released book “Latin America in Focus: Brazil.” The book, designed to educate students, travelers, business professionals and anyone interested in the country, can also shed light on the nation's political past.  One of the book’s chapters outlines the country’s colonization by the Portuguese in the 16th century through independence in 1822, its era of military dictatorship and democratic Brazil from 1985 to today. It also explores controversy, including competing political parties, corruption and the ongoing scandal in which Rousseff is embroiled.

Rousseff is accused of employing illegal budgetary procedures to conceal a budget deficit and enhance her prospects at re-election in 2014. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Tosta’s book “Confluence Narratives: Ethnicity, History and Making in the Americas” is forthcoming with Bucknell University Press this year. In 2011 he co-edited “Luso-American Literature: Writings by Portuguese Speaking Authors in North America.” His essays on Brazilian and Brazilian-American literature and cinema have appeared as book chapters and in academic journals in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Europe.

To schedule an interview with Tosta about the scandal, massive protests throughout the nation, the effects on the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro or related topics, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu


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The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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