Tereza Virginia

biography

I was born in Rio de janeiro in the 60’s and lived in downtown Rio until I was six years old. After that, I’ve lived in Santa Teresa, from where I moved just when I decided in 1996 to live in an island, Florianópolis. By that time I had already finished my Phd in Literature at PUC/Rio. I came to Florianópolis specially for working as a professor of Brazilian literature at UFSC (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina).

Since I was raised as an only child, literature and music were always my best companionships and turned me a foreigner to the feeling of loneliness. To sing and to teach, to teach and to sing: two daily activities. In the beginning addressed to my dolls. Little by little transformed into a profession.

I started on stage when I was five years old before I could even write or read, as a protagonist. My mother read the play to me and I memorized….

As soon as I started reading I’ve met poetry as my privileged form. From poetry to song everything was just flux, continuity. Writing poetry and writing were also simultaneous activities.

My self-comprehension as a songwriter started in 1977 when I won a Music Festival at high school as a co-author, since a colleague had written the melody for a poem I had previously written. After that, I discovered how amazing it was: every note designing the intonation for each syllable from my words.

In the 80’s I studied Letras at UERJ, participated in theater groups, workshops of Teatro do oprimido, choirs. I also started to have singing lessons and fell in love for the musical avant-garde form São Paulo. Arrigo, Itamar Assumpção, Grupo Rumo were constant presences in Circo Voador, an experimental circus designed for the newer performances by the time, built in Lapa, a bohemian area of downtown Rio.

As soon as I graduated, I started teaching in a peripheral public school and perceived that I was totally right when choosing to be a teacher. It has never been difficult to teach. And this return was clear by the reaction of my students. Difficult was to accept the value written in the paycheck every month. That difficulty has led me to pursue an academic career and here I am.

I also married in the 80’s and had my son Roberto in 1988 in the middle of my master’s degree at PUC. From 1993 to 1994 I lived in Toronto where I developed the experimental part of my doctoral thesis under the supervision of Linda Hutcheon. When I came back to Brasil , I defended at PUC Rio the thesis A ausência lilás da Semna de arte moderna: o olhar pós-mopderno, publishe by Letras Contemporâneas, in Florianópolis, in 1998. Mu supervisor was an adorable German lady: Heidrun Krieger Olinto, with whom I have learned to love literary theory.

In 1996 I started teaching at UFSC and little by little I inscribed popular music in my classes, in the curriculum of the graduate course, and in my research.

In 1999 I lived for seven months in the United Sates, where I had my first postdoctoral fellowhip from Capes under the supervision of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Jeffrey Scnapp, at Stanford University, in the Department of Comparative Literature. The irony of this stay was that I was researching on tecno -tribalism and ended up learning to play capoeira with a Master from Rio de Janeiro.

Coming back to Florianópolis in 2000, I started to get in touch with the musical scenary and created a research project dedicated to the popular music at Santa Catarina which led to the online Dictionary of Santa Catarina’s popular music. In 2002 I created at UFSC , Nepom, a nucleo designed for the research and extension activities on the relations between music and literature.

In 2003 I started to sing in the Polyophonia Khorus with which I performed in several cities and had the pleasure to participate in Carmem, the Bizet s opera. One more time, music and literature met in my life. In 2004 I left Polyphonia and decided to dedicate myself to projects as a solo singer and songwriter. Four years later, I released my first album, Tereza Virginia. In 2009 I started to circulate with the show “A Outra”, title of a “fado” composed in partnership with Beatriz Sanson. At this moment, I was awarded a prize in Santa Catarina, the Elizabete Anderle, that allowed me to record my second CD, Aluada.

Three years laters, I have created Labflor, Laboratório Floripa em composição transdisciplinar: arte, cultura e política: my thought was more and more led by the desire of finding people with disposition to research on alternatives to the closure of academic knowledge in itself. The relation to the indisciplined thought challenges me.

In 2013 I lived in Melbourne Australia through a senior scholarship awarded by Capes (Coordenação de Apoio de Pessoal de Nível Superior) within Media Studies for developing a project on Voice in the digital archive, with collaboration of Norie Newmark.

2014 is a year dedicated to teaching, writing and songwriting…..everything new designing the circle……

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