Sound and the Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff

This project is being developed by students at the University of Georgia for the course “Special Topics in Portuguese: Brazilian Politics and Political Culture.” On April 17, 2016, the Câmara dos Deputados voted 367-137, with 7 abstentions, to place President Dilma Rousseff on impeachment trial in the Senate. As they voted, each of the 511 deputies gave a speech of only a few seconds explaining their vote, or perhaps dedicating it to a person, place, or cause that they saw as important. These speeches were widely reviled in the Brazilian and international press for their vacuousness, as deputies dedicated their votes to their grandchildren, God, the State of Israel, the military coup plotters of 1964, and so forth. Yet their content – not only their words, but also the way they spoke, their body language, and the clothes they wore – reveals a great deal about how Brazilian politicians imagine things like representation and democracy.

Each student has chosen a single state and will review the votes of that state’s deputies. Each will select two deputies, or two key moments during their state’s vote, to analyze in depth. At the end of the Spring 2017 semester, their analyses will be placed here.