University of Michigan 2003
the mid-1990s, I have conducted ethnographic research on urban
“restoration” in relation to national histories and racial politics in
Brazil. This gave rise to my first book, Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy.
In addition to ongoing work on heritage, race, and ethnographic
approaches to history and historicity in Latin America, I am currently
involved in two new projects. The first, Under English Eyes, examines
the ways Africans who arrived on the final slave ship to dock in the
city of Salvador, Bahia experienced Brazil's 19th century transition to
ostensibly free labor. The second, Hunters of the Sourlands, is a
somewhat iconoclastic foray into human-animal relations and the
politics of property and nature in the contemporary U.S. The project is
based on experiences with hunters of white-tail deer, state game
officials, and scientists involved in wildlife biology and planning in
central New Jersey. I seek to understand more clearly how recent
political economic changes have altered landscapes in ways that affect
both national politics and the ecology of North American woodlands.
This project articulates closely with my ongoing examination of U.S.
imperial politics, which gave rise to my most recent book, a volume
co-edited with Carole McGranahan and entitled Ethnographies of U.S. Empire
(Duke University Press, 2018). It has also led to increased
international cooperation, in the form of an ongoing research project
on interspecies relationships conducted with Prof. Jorge Mattar Villela
and his graduate students at Brazil’s Federal University of São Carlos.
addition to my research and teaching at Queens and CUNY Graduate
Center, I currently serve as Co-Chair of the Columbia University Brazil
Seminar. From 2012-2018 I directed Queens College's Program in Latin
American and Latino Studies. LALS plays an extremely important and
promising role in the intellectual life of Queens as a College and
Queens as a borough.
- Anthropology and History
- Cultural History and "Development"
- Nationalism and the State
- Political Economy and Economic Anthropology
to Cultural Anthropology (101)
- Essentials of Cultural Anthropology (201)
- People of Mexico and Guatemala (205)
- Anthropology of Ritual and Religion
- Anthropological Approaches to Race and Ethnicity
- Anthropology of LIfe and Death
2018. Ethnographies of US Empire. Durham: Duke University Press (Co-edited with Carole McGranahan).
Sharing This Walk: An Ethnography of Prison Life and the PCC in Brazil.
University of North Carolina Press. (John Collins' translation and new
edition of the ethnography by anthropologist Karina Biondi and
published originally in Brazil as Junto e misturado: uma etnographia do PCC).
2015. Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the
Twilight of Brazilian "Racial Democracy." Duke University Press. (awarded the Leeds Award for exemplary book in anthropology)
"Policing's Productive Folds: Secretism and Authenticity in Brazilian
Cultural Heritage." Journal of Latin American and Caribbean
Anthropology, 19(3):473-501.2012. "Reconstructing the 'Cradle of Brazil:' The
Detachability of Morality and the Nature of Cultural Labor in Salvador,
Bahia's Pelourinho World Heritage Site." International Journal of
Cultural Property 19(3): 423-452.
2011. "Melted Gold and National Bodies: The Hermeneutics of
Depth and the Value of History in Brazilian Racial Politics." American
Ethnologist 38(4): 683-700.
2011. "Culture, Content, and the Enclosure of Human Being: UNESCO's
'Intangible' Heritage in the New Millennium." Radical History Review,
Number 109 (Winter): 121-135.
2011. "Nation-State Consolidation and Cultural Patrimony." The
Brazilian State: Paths and Prospects of Dirigisme and Liberalization,
eds. Mauricio Font and Laura Randall: Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, pp.
2009. "Historical and Cultural Patrimony in Brazil: Recent Works in Portuguese." Latin American Research Review 44(1): 291-301.
2008. "'But What if I Should Need to Defecate in Your Neighborhood,
Madame?': Empire, Redemption and the 'Tradition of the Oppressed' in a
Brazilian Historical Center." Cultural Anthropology 23(2): 279-328.
2008. "Patrimony, Public Health, and National Culture: The
Commodification and Redemption of Origins in Neoliberal Brazil."
Critique of Anthropology (28)2: 237-255.
2008. "A razão barroca do patrimônio baiano" ["Bahian Patrimony's
Baroque Reason"] Revista de Antropologia (Brazil), 51(1): 29-73
2007. "The Sounds of Tradition: Arbitrariness and Agency in a Brazilian Cultural Heritage Center." Ethnos 72(3):383-407
2007. "Recent Approaches in English to Brazilian Racial Ideologies:
Ambiguity, Research Methods, and Semiotic Ideologies." Comparative
Studies in Society and History, 49(4): 997-1009.
2004 "'X Marks the Future of Brazil': Racial Politics,
Bedeviling Mixtures and Protestant Ethics in a Brazilian Cultural
Heritage Center," in Off Stage/On Display: Intimacies and Ethnographies
in the Age of Public Culture. Andrew Shryock, editor, Stanford
University Press, pp. 191-224.
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