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The Making of Modern Brazil Podcast

Welcome to the Making of Modern Brazil Podcast, a project of the NEH Summer Institute, Making of Modern Brazil hosted by the Behner Stiefel Center for Brazilian Studies at San Diego State University in Summer 2022. Our podcast talks to the faculty and graduate students who participated in the Institute about their research projects.

Episode 1

Episode 1 with Demetrius Murphy

Demetrius Murphy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. He received his B.B.A. in Management Consulting and Africana Studies from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University. His research interests lie in the areas of race and ethnicity, urban sociology, and economic sociology. Specifically, he has two lines of research: (1) resistance and anti-Blackness in Brazil and (2) flourishing and the Black class structure in the United States.

Episode 2

Episode 2 with Watufani Poe, Tassiana Moura de Oliveira & C. Darius Gordon

Watufani M. Poe earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College, his Masters in History and his PhD in Africana Studies from Brown University. His manuscript project entitled “Resisting Fragmentation: The Embodied Politics of Black LGBTQ+ Activism in Brazil and the United States” is an ethnohistoric analysis of Black LGBTQ+ activism in both countries to outline the ways Black LGBTQ people push for freedom across various social movement spaces. His work lies at the intersection of Africana Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Anthropology, and History focusing intently on questions such as the connections of the Black diaspora, Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Social Justice Movements. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Black Studies at Amherst College and will begin as an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education in September of 2022.

Tassiana Moura de Oliveira is an Afro-Brazilian woman from the Northeast of Brazil. She now works as a lecturer at the Department of Latin-American and Caribbean Studies at the University at Albany. She is also a post-doctorate fellow at Cebrap (Centro Brasileiro de Análises e Planejamento). She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) in 2020. In 2018, she visited the University at Albany as a researcher sponsored by CAPES. She received her Master’s degree in Law from the Catholic University of Pernambuco, both in Brazil. Currently. Her research interests are judicial politics; Brazilian Judiciary; judicial behavior and judicialization of policies and politics. Right now, she is working on project that will evaluate in what capacity municipal institutions have used Brazilian state courts to extend the discussion about Covid-19 policies.

C. Darius Gordon (they/them) is an interdisciplinary scholar and educator. They are currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley in the Critical Studies of Race, Class, & Gender program housed in the Graduate School of Education. Broadly, they study the 20th-century intellectual histories of Black liberation movements throughout the Atlantic world. Drawing on Black feminisms and Black Geographic thought, Darius’s dissertation project is an intellectual history of the relations forged between the Brazilian Black movements and anti-colonial revolutions of Lusophone Africa from the 1950s-1980s. It is their hope that this work will further our understanding of the histories of Black internationalism, the limits and possibilities of Black transnational solidarity, and the lasting legacy of (Portuguese) empire. Their work has been published in the Berkeley Review of Education and the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies. Feel free to connect with them on Twitter at @cdariusg for more information

Episode 3

Episode 3 with Alejandra Aguilar Dornelles

Alejandra Aguilar Dornelles is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American studies at Florida Atlantic University. Her teaching and research interests include Caribbean literature, Brazilian literature, and Afro-Latin American Diaspora. She has published articles on Caribbean narrative and poetry in journals such as Latin American Research Review, Afro-Hispanic Review, and Latin American Theatre Review. Her article, “Heroísmo y conciencia racial en la poeta afrocubana Cristina Ayala,” was awarded the 2017 Ibero-American Prize for an Academic Article on the Nineteenth Century (LASA) as well as the Harold Eugene Davis Prize by the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies (MACLAS). She edited Sufragio femenino en América Latina: alianzas nacionalistas y políticas transnacionales, a special issue of Meridional: Revista Chilena de Estudios Latinoamericanos (2021), in collaboration with Vanesa Miseres and Claudia Montero. In 2022, her unpublished project “En nombre de la madre: el valor político del heroísmo en la narrativa de Maria Firmina dos Reis” was awarded the Marielle Franco Prize by the Gender and Feminist Studies section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). Her current research projects are focused on the representation of Black subjectivities in Latin American literary texts of the nineteenth and twentieth century.

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