Ph.D. UCLA (2001). Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian Literature.
My primary research interests are contemporary Luso-Brazilian literature, Afro-Brazilian literatutre, and Brazilian cinema.
My manuscript Writing Identity: The Politics of Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Literature, published by Purdue UP (2007), scrutinizes the literary production of a São Paulo-based group of Afro-Brazilian writers, the Quilombhoje. These authors are active participants of the black movement and use their writings to promote a consciousness-raising process on the questions of race relations and racism in Brazil. I also study the connection between canonicity and race, investigating Afro-Brazilian writers allegedly invisibility on the Brazilian literary scene and exploring the possible roots for their lack of artistic legitimacy. Finally, I analyze the connection between politics and culture, examining the literature of the black movement in Brazil.
I am currently working on a new manuscript project, tentatively entitled The Color of Crime: Delinquency and Representations of Race in Brazilian Literature and Cinema. This book will examine the construction of diverse representations of blacks, and how they relate to crime and violence in Brazilian society. These representations denounce the social and economic marginalization of blacks; but, contradictorily, they can also produce stereotyped perceptions of how Afro-Brazilians relate to crime. I propose that Afro-Brazilians have sought to fight poverty and delinquency by building racial and social awareness through the power of artistic creation. Therefore, contemporary cultural productions, such as literature, film, and music, are also venues for recasting discourses that generate alternative spaces for social, racial, and political debates in Brazilian society.
My teaching at Vanderbilt focuses on Luso-Brazilian literature, Brazilian cinema, and cultural studies.
My courses this semester (Fall 2008) are: Portuguese 203 - Portuguese Language Through Pop Culture Portuguese 291 - Brazilian Civilization (in English)
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