top of page


Lehman Trilogy - by Maria Trivino2.jpeg

Cordel Literature

February 2024

February 6, 2024

Workshop Lead: Eshe Mercer-James

Embark on a literary exploration of Cordel literature with us—an intricate blend of oral and written traditions from 19th-century northeastern Brazil. Discover how this dynamic form supports and empowers marginalized folk cultures of the region. Cordel spread through the nation as these groups searched for economic opportunities in the big cities, and is now both an officially recognized Brazilian cultural heritage product and a developing genre in contemporary Brazilian culture. We'll delve into the works of Salete Maria, a Cordelista, Feminista e Libertária, challenging traditional norms in this historically male-dominated endeavor. Join us for a concise yet captivating evening at the intersection of cultural heritage and contemporary expression. You don’t have to know Portuguese to enjoy this session.

Photos by Isorine Marc

Eshe Mercer-James

Eshe Mercer-James has taught literature courses at both York and Trent Universities, and also works with the Canadian Language Museum. Her PhD dissertation, Framing Standard and Dialect in Black Women’s Novels (2021), was nominated for the Mary McEwan Memorial Award, a prize for feminist scholarship. She also has a longstanding interest in Brazilian culture, and spent a month in the northeast part of the country to experience the Festa de São João festival (also known as Festa Junina). She is excited to experience some of that energy in Toronto.

Photo Credit: Unknown

bottom of page