Hill Hall 631
I am a sociocultural anthropologist. My ethnographically-based work focuses on the politics of inequality, particularly in Brazil. I've written about space travel, the formation of political consciousness, comparative class and race politics, US empire, war and violence, the politics of anti-corruption, utopia, and other related (and seemingly unrelated) topics. The thread that runs through all my work is the attempt to understand how and why people conceptualize and act upon inequality in ways that change historically. I am currently the director of the Graduate Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, and I also organize with my union, Rutgers AAUP-AFT.
- Economic Anthropology
- Anthropological Theory and Methods
- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
- Anthropology of Inequality
- Urban Ethnography
- Anthropology Seminar: Political Anthropology
- Graduate Seminar: Ethnographic Methods
- Graduate Seminar: Contemporary Social Theory
- Graduate Seminar: Urban Theory and the Contemporary City
- Graduate Seminar: Peace, Conflict, Security and Development
- Honors Seminar: Anthropology and Politics
- Honors Seminar: Technology, Politics, and Society
- Honors Seminar: Inequality, Race, and Politics in Brazil: Ethnographic Studies and Comparisons with the US
Selected Recent Awards
- 2021. Mellon Sawyer Seminar Grant, “Natives and Nativists, Migrants and Immigrants in an American City” (with Belinda Edmondson and Kornel Chang).
- 2019. Sérgio Buarque de Holanda Social Science Article Prize from the Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section. for, "Naming Brazil’s Previously Poor: 'New Middle Class' as an Economic, Political, and Experiential Category." (co-authored with Charles Klein and Benjamin Junge).
2019 School for Advanced Research, Research Team Seminar Award (with Benjamin Junge) “Precarious Mobilities: Brazil's 'Previously Poor' in Times of Growth and Crisis.”
2018. Sergio Buarque de Holanda Social Science Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section.Section for Constellations of Inequality: Space, Race, and Utopia in Brazil. (University of Chicago Press, 2017).
- 2015-2018. National Science Foundation Research Grant: Collaborative Research: Social Mobility, Poverty Reduction, and Democracy in an Emerging Middle Class (with Benjamin Junge and Charles Klein).
- 2015-6. Faculty Fellowship from the Rutgers Institute for Research on Women (Seminar on "Poverty").
- 2013. Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, International Collaborative Research Grant.
- 2012. Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis Faculty Fellowship.
- 2012. Rutgers Center for Latin American Studies Fund for Faculty and Student Research Fellowship.
Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Chicago.
B.A. Philosophy, Rutgers University.
- 2022. Democracia Precária: Etnografias de Esperança, Desespero, e Resistência No Brasil. Co-edited with Alvaro Jarrin, Benjamin Junge, Lucia Cantero, and Karina Biondi. Porto Alegre: Zouk.
- 2021. Precarious Democracy: Ethnographies of Hope, Despair, and Resistance in Brazil. Co-edited with Benjamin Junge, Alvaro Jarrin, and Lucia Cantero. Rutgers University Press.
- 2017. Constellations of Inequality: Space, Race, and Utopia in Brazil. University of Chicago Press. (Social Science Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section, 2018).
- 2010. Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. Co-edited with John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, and Jeremy Walton. University of Chicago Press.
Edited Journal Issues
- 2017. "Afro-Brazilian Citizenship and the Politics of History," African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 10(2). co-edited with Merle L. Bowen and LaShandra Sullivan.
Articles and Chapters
Forthcoming “Rot Politics and the Cunning of Anti-Corruption: The Polysemy of Corruption and the Emergence of a Cross-class Right in Brazil,” (co-authored with Thayane Brêtas) in Rio as Method, edited by Paul Amar. Durham: Duke University Press.
2022. “Mobility Interrupted: A New Framework for Understanding Anti-Left Sentiment Among Brazil’s ‘Once-Rising Poor.’” (co-authored with Benjamin Junge, Charles Klein, and, and Matthew Spearly) Latin American Politics and Society, November, 1–30.
2022. “What Happened to the ‘New Middle Class’? The 2016 BORP (Brazil’s Once-Rising Poor) Survey.” (co-authored with Benjamin Junge, Charles Klein, and David de Micheli) Latin American Research Review 57 (3): 573–89.
2021 “Cruel Pessimism: The Affect of Anti-Corruption and the End of the New Brazilian Middle Class.” In Precarious Democracy: Ethnographies of Hope, Despair, and Resistance in Brazil, edited by Benjamin Junge, Sean T. Mitchell, Alvaro Jarrin, and Lucia Cantero. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
2021 “Beyond Ethnographic Populisms and Performative Nationalisms: Notes on the Anthropology of the Far Right.” Social Anthropology 29 (2).
2018. “Empire as Accusation, Denial, and Structure: The Social Life of US Power at Brazil’s Spaceport.” In Ethnographies of U.S. Empire. John Collins and Carole McGranahan, eds. Durham: Duke University Press.
- 2018. "Naming Brazil’s Previously Poor: 'New Middle Class' as an Economic, Political, and Experiential Category." (co-authored with Charles Klein and Benjamin Junge). Economic Anthropology. 5(1) (Winner of the 2018 Sergio Buarque de Holanda Prize from the Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section).
- 2017. “Introduction: Afro-Brazilian Citizenship and the Politics of History.” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. 10(2): 109-113.
- 2017. “Whitening and Racial Ambiguity: Racialization and Ethnoracial Citizenship in Contemporary Brazil.” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 10(2): 114-130.
- 2016. "Countdown to an Impasse: Expertise and the Mediation of Inequality at Brazil's Alcântara Launch Center." Kellogg Institute for International Studies Working Paper Series. 413.
- 2015. "American Dreams and Brazilian Racial Democracy: The Making of Race and Class in Brazil and the United States." Focaal—Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. 73: 41–54 (Special Issue: "E.P. Thompson, Anthropology, and Twenty-First Century Capitalism").
- 2013. Space, Sovereignty, Inequality: Interpreting the Explosion of Brazil’s VLS Rocket. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 18(3): 395–412. (Special Issue: "Technoscience in Las Américas: STS Engagements in Latin American Anthropology").
- 2010. Paranoid Styles of Nationalism after the Cold War: Notes from an Invasion of the Amazon. In Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency, ed. John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, and Jeremy Walton, 89-104. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
- 2016. “Perspectives on Violence, Neoliberalism, and Security in 21st Century Megacities.” Review essay of: "The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil," by Erika Robb Larkins and "The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism," by Paul Amar, in Theoretical Criminology 20 (4): 507–11.
- 2006. “New Histories of Afro-Descendant and Indigenous Latin America.” Review essay of: "Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000," by George Reid Andrews and "Beyond Black and Red: African-Native Relations in Colonial Latin America," edited by Matthew Restall,” in Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 11.2: 515-18.
- 2018 Review of: The Luso-Anarchist Reader: The Origins of Anarchism in Portugal and Brazil. Góes Jr., Plínio de, Ed.. Information Age,” in Journal of Lusophone Studies 3 (1): 220-222.
- 2015. Review of: “Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination." Ann Laura Stoler, Ed., Durham: PB - Duke University Press , 2013.” The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 20 (2): 387–89.
- 2012. Review of: Wall Street at War: The Secret Struggle for the Global Economy, by Alexandra Ouroussoff, Cambridge, UK: Polity, in Logos: A journal of modern society and culture. 11.2-3.2010.
- 2010. Review of: "Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil," by James Holston, Princeton: Princeton University Press, in e-misférica: Performance and Politics in the Americas. 6.2.
- 2009. Review of: "In from the Cold: Latin America's New Encounter with the Cold War," edited by G. Joseph and D. Spenser, in Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 14.2: 514-516.
Selected Other Publications
- 2023 "The Importance of Lula's Presidency in an Increasingly Multipolar World," NACLA, January.
2022 "Greenwald's Bombshell Brazil Scoops Have Curious Blindspot for US Involvement" FAIR, April.
- 2020 "Alcântara: Bolsonaro’s Illegal Plan to Expropriate Afro-Brazilian land for Trump Deal" Brasilwire.
- 2019 “O Acordo de Alcântara sacrificaria a soberania, o desenvolvimento, e os direitos dos quilombolas brasileiros.” Jornal GGN, September 6 (published in English as, "Alcântara Base: US deal a threat to Sovereignty and Quilombo communities," Brasilwire).
- 2014. "The Politics of Violence and Brazil’s World Cup." Anthropoliteia, June 30 (published in Spanish as, "Todos morirán." Revista Anfibia).
- 2008. [With Alfredo Wagner Berno de Almeida, Patrícia Portela, Cynthia de Carvalho Martins, and Aniceto Cantanhede Filho] Projeto Nova Cartografia Social da Amazônia: Quilombolas Atingidas pela Base Espacial de Alcântara, Maranhão. Manaus: PNCSA-Federal University of Amazonas.
Selected Lectures, Interviews, and Media Appearances
- Who are the Bolsonaro Supporters Behind Brazil's January 8th Insurrection?, Interview on KPFA Ufront 2023.
- Alcântara: A Fight over Land and Space with Sean T. Mitchell, Interview with James Green, Brazil Unfiltered Podcast, 2021.
- Base de Alcântara e a política nos EUA, Interview with Luis Nassif, GGN News, 2020.
- Alcântara Spaceport: Race, Land Rights and National Sovereignty, Interview with Brasil Wire, 2017.
- Sean Mitchell on 2014 World Cup Media Coverage, Duke University Global Brazil Lab, 2015.
- Megaprojects & the Politics of Inequality in Brazil, Duke University Global Brazil Lab, 2015.
- "Declínio de uma família política abre o caminho para mudanças no Brasil," Estado de São Paulo, 12/26/2014.
- "Decline of a Political Family Opens the Way for a Shift in Brazil," The New York Times, 12/25/2014.
- "Corrigir o passado," Interview with Rede Angola, 12/12/2014.
- "Afro-Brazilians Demand Slavery Reparations Because 'Poverty Has A Color'," The Huffington Post, 8/26/2014.
- Director, Graduate Program in Peace and Conflict Studies.
- Core faculty member, Graduate Program in Global Urban Studies.
- Affiliate faculty member, Department of African American and African Studies.
- Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights.
- International Institute for Peace.