New professors!

At the Institute for Brazilian Studies at Aarhus University, two new professors have started this semester. Who are thay and why did they choose Brazilian Studies in Aarhus? Brasil Aqui sat down and asked them.

Name: Derek Pardue

When were you born:
”Oct 31.1969”

Where were you  born and raised?
”I was born in Huntsville, Alabama, in the deep south. I grew up in Virginia State, in a city called Virginia Beach. It was a was very international city, since it was home for a big navy base, so there were many military families from the states and all over the world.”

What's your marital status?
” I have a wife and a son, who is 10 years old”

What's your educational and professional background?
”My undergraduate degree was in german litterature and classical music (composition and theory of classical music). I wanted to be a composer in classical music, so I atteded a muscal conservatory in San Fracisco, where I studied  musical composition and classical guitar for 2 years. 
During that time I realized that what I really wanted to do was something called etnomusicology, which I studied in Texas for my master degree. Etnomusicology is a mix of music, performance and anthropology. 
After that I lived in Brazil for many years and came back to the states to take doctorate, which now is 10 years ago.
After that I worked for 2 years in the state of New York, in a visiting position in the department of anthropology, and after that I worked for 7 years in another part of the country, where I worked with part anthropology and part International Studies.
Then I left and worked the Brown University, Wesley University and Souther Connecticut University. And before I arrived here, I worked in a visiting position at the University of Sao Paulo.”  

Why Aarhus?
”I dont really know Denmark per se. The institute in Aarhus is interesting, because it is specificly about Brazil, which is very unusual. The places I worked before the Brazilian Studies are a part of something else. 
It's also very interesting for me, since Brazilian Studies is a part of the Area Studies, so in this way I can connect Brazil to the global world, which is very important for me”. 

Will you try to learn danish? 
”Yes, definitely, I just received my CPR-number, so now I can take danish courses. I know german, and there are some similarities, but it will be a challenge. ”

What you like most about Denmark? 
The effeciency. There's a lot of bureaucracy, when you move here, but it works, compared to Brazil and the US. 
Also danes are good at english, which is both good and bad, since it makes it harder to learn danish

What you like the least?
”Everything closes so early.  For instance it is impossible to get a hair cut after 6 p.m. 
Also it's hard to get a good cup of espresso, unless you go the centre of the city, and I am not gonna walk there. But since everyone has a bike here, I will definitely get one as well”

What's your worst habit? 
”Biting nails, which I have done my whole life.
On a more philosophical note it's being too pessmistic, maybe thinking too much and being too critical.”

If you were to strand on a deserted island, which 3 things would you bring with you?
” I would bring my family (Wife and son, counts as one), unlimited amounts of alcohol of my own choice, and last I would bring unlimited amounds of dark chocolate”

If there was one person you could meet, who would it be?
”It's an overwhealming question. I will have to go with Frederick Douglas, who was an afro-american activist during slavery in the 19. century. He was so forward thinking that he still very relevant, and I think it's fascinating that he was so much ahead of his time.” 

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? 
”I really wanna go to Japan. It fascinates me, because it is so far away from my upbringing. It
 has a long, rich history, but also because it now is a very effecient and advanced country, so it has both sides to it. 

Fun/Weird fact about you:
”Okay, I'll give you 3 things: 
I love tennis, and I play it alot. I already play here in Denmark
I  love cooking. I make every meal my self. I believe that it is important to cook yourself.

My taste in music makes sense for people who know me, but I have this one band, that I for mysterious reasons always have liked. They're scottish and are called ”Cocteau Twins”, and it doesn't make any sense that I like them so much, but I do.” 


Name: Georg Fischer

When were you born:

Where were you born and raised:
”I was born in Frankfurt/Main and I was raised in a suburb of a suburb of Frankfurt, a very nice place, which is called Heusenstamm.

What is your marital status?
”I am married”

What's your educational and professional background?
”I studied History and Economics in Berlin and Essex and for the last 10 years I have specialised in the History of Brazil.
I have done a lot of research in Brazil, but I never studied there, because there was no possibility, so I think that is a big privilege that you here at Aarhus Unversity have that chance. Before I came I worked as a “Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter” (research and teaching assistant) in Berlin from 2007 until now”

Why Aarhus?
”When I read about the profile of the programme here in Aarhus, I was very interested, because I come from an interdisciplinary institute of Latin American studies, where I always worked with colleges from other disciplines focusing on one region, which was Latin America as a whole. I found it really interesting, that here there was a similar programme, but only about Brazil.”

Will you try to learn the Danish language?
”Yes definitely. I will start in January, when hopefully I will be less busy. Some say that it is easier for Germans to learn Danish, so I'm hopeful that I will learn something during the next year. When I learned Portuguese, I already knew Spanish, and although Portuguese almost sounds like Russian, when you don't know it, but when I learned the tricks in the pronunciation, it was easy for me, so I hope it will be the same with German and Danish”

What do you like the most about Denmark so far?
”I love the beach here in Aarhus. I also like the size of Aarhus, and I like the student atmosphere here. The city is very open to the sea, which is also very nice”.

What do you like the least so far?
”That I haven't had the time get to know it better. I live on campus and see Universitetsparken every day, but that's about it. Another ting is that it is very expensive here, so you can't eat out often, as I did in Berlin, which is a big difference”.

What's your worst habit?
”Sometimes I am pretty bad at setting priorities and pay too much attention to little details. Also I am a bit messy, both at home and at my work place”

If you were to strand on a deserted island, which 3 things would you bring with you?
”I would bring my wife, my library and a bike. I like riding my bike, which is a good thing here in Aarhus”

If there was one person you could meet, who would it be?
”An intriguing figure for me is Emperor Pedro II. He is very contradictory, because he preached about modernity and progress, but at the same time he maintained slavery during his reign of almost 50 years. I would like to meet him, so I could talk to him about what he thought about that”.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
”There are many places in Brazil I haven't visited yet. I would love to go to Pantanal, but if not Brazil, I would love to visit Cuba. My wife has also wanted to go to Cuba for a long time, and hopefully we will go soon”.

Fun/Weird fact about you:
” I have a weird habit of listening to one and the same artist every day for about a year and then I'll listen to a new one. Right now it's Baths, a producer of electronic music from Los Angeles.
Otherwise it is hard for me to think of any other weird habits, since I consist almost exclusively of work right now, and I definitely look forward to some more fun in the future”.


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