In response to the growing global importance of Brazil in economic and political spheres, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Division of International Studies and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies (LACIS) Program have begun an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at producing collaborative research, teaching and outreach projects focused on Brazil.
The overarching goal of the Brazil Initiative is to bring faculty and alumni together with private foundations, businesses and state agencies to help Wisconsin better understand and engage with Brazil as an emerging global economy. The Brazil Initiative will also work to expand UW-Madison's Study Abroad Programs in Brazil. This initiative builds on Wisconsin's long-standing involvement with Brazil. Portuguese language instruction at UW-Madison goes back almost 70 years and the Summer Intensive Portuguese Institute, supported by the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI program, has been offered since 1985.
Professor Severino Albuquerque, from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is the appointed faculty lead and director of the Brazil Initiative for 2009-2011. Professor Albuquerque has convened a faculty steering committee to oversee the activities of the Brazil Initiative.