BRASA Announces the 2014 Roberto Reis Award Winners

BRASA announces the winners of the 2014 Roberto Reis book prize competition. The selection committee, which consisted of Brodwyn Fischer, Pedro Meira Monteiro, and Wendy Hunter, had a very difficult job selecting from a record number of excellent submissions. Congratulations to the winners, who will be recognized during the Closing Ceremony of BRASA XII.

Prize Winners:
Bruno Carvalho
Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro (Liverpool University Press, 2013)

Bruno Carvalho’s Porous City is an admirably hybrid rumination on culture, geography, and history in Rio de Janeiro’s Cidade Nova, the now mostly forgotten region that in its time gave rise to some of Brazil’s most enduring cultural and urbanistic forms. Through close analysis of music, film, maps, photographs, printed prose, and fiction, Carvalho brings new insights to centennial debates about the puzzling coexistence of mixture and rupture, integration and inequality, in Brazil and in its postcard city. Cidade Nova’s journey from periphery to center to urban decadence illuminates Brazilian cultural studies far beyond the boundaries of this single place, at once central and forgotten: in it we see the ironies of samba’s commercialized nationalization, the distinct brand of exclusion embodied in the favelas’ marginalized permanence, and the sociocultural scars of halfhearted modernism and architectural enclosure. Carvalho’s erudite book forces us to see beyond the binary of division and democracy, to a city and nation defined by their porous contradictions.

Camillia Cowling
Conceiving Freedom: Women of Color, Gender, and the Abolition of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro (North Carolina Press, 2013)

In this beautifully written, elegantly conceived comparative study, Camillia Cowling brings gender to the center of the history of emancipation in the Atlantic World. Building gracefully on a generation of scholarship that has interrogated the changing meanings of freedom in captivity’s last decades, Cowling demonstrates the ways in which women’s experience of slavery, emancipation and freedom was at once different from men’s and a formative force in the history of Brazilian and Cuban abolition. Cowling’s arguments are built from subtle analysis of a vast array of sources, most notably legal petitions for freedom and abolitionist rhetoric. Her artful storytelling indelibly engraves her claims on a reader’s historical consciousness. The book’s comparative perspective illuminates the interaction of global and local forces in shaping the lives of Afro-descendent populations in slavery’s most important nineteenth-century urban centers. Cowling’s study is an impressive landmark in slavery and emancipation’s well-trod terrain.

Honorable Mention:
Margaret Keck & Rebecca Abers
Practical Authority: Agency and Institutional Change in Brazilian Water Politics (Oxford, 2013)

Margaret Keck and Rebecca Abers have crafted a volume that contributes admirably to debates about water management, institutional politics, participatory democracy, and the limitations of law in contemporary Brazil. Water management is at once remarkably complex, vitally important, and politically opaque. It is difficult to understand Brazil’s contemporary ecology, politics or economy without it, but the level of research and knowledge necessary to penetrate its intricacies is formidable. Keck and Abers bring long experience and remarkable subtlety to the task of evaluating the politically innovative creation of river basin communities as structures of more democratic water governance. In rejecting broad, universalizing interpretive models, and in highlighting the ways in which process, contingency, and interdependent institutional evolution matter, Keck and Abers provide great insight into the ways in which legal innovation can translate into practical authority in an era of rapid institutional and political change.

BRASA Announces the 2014 Jon M. Tolman Award Winners

The Jon M. Tolman Award is designed to assist students with their travel expenses. This Award is sponsored by BRASA and is intended for students who will present at BRASA XII Congress. Join us to congratulate the 2014 Jon Tolman Travel Award Recipients:

Ana Luíza Melo Aranha
Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Corruption and the Web of Accountability Institutions in Brazil

Cassia P. Roth
Ph.D. candidate in History, University of California at Los Angeles
Murdering Mothers: Infanticide, Medicine, and the Law in Rio de Janeiro

Melissa Teixeira
Ph.D. candidate in History, Princeton University
The Readings, Writings, and Thinkings of Oliveira Vianna: Transnational Legal and Racial Arguments for Brazil’s Corporatist Experiment

Natan Tzvi Zeichner
Ph.D. candidate in History, New York University
The Institution of Radical Identities and the Defeat of the Brazilian Military Dictatorship, 1979-1985

These young scholars have been selected to receive a Jon Tolman Travel Award in the amount of US$500 and a waiver of the Congress registration fees. They will receive the Jon Tolman Travel Award awards on Saturday evening, August 23, at the closing ceremonies of BRASA XII at King's College, London.

The selection committee consisted of Vânia Penha-Lopes (chair), John Samuel Burdick, Brodwyn Fischer, and Leila Lehnen.

Please, join us to congratulate the 2014 Jon Tolman Travel Award Recipients.
We are looking forward to this event.

BRASA Honors Prof. Maxine L. Margolis with Lifetime Contribution Award

Professor Maxine L. Margolis, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of Florida will be awarded the BRASA Lifetime Contribution Award at a ceremony that will be take place at BRASA XII in London in August 2014. In a field of meritorious candidates, Dr. Margolis stands out for her more than forty years of extraordinary and unflagging commitment to the mission of our organization: the promotion of Brazilian Studies in the United States. As her numerous books, articles, and media appearances attest, she pioneered research on Brazilian immigration in this country, raising the profile of Brazil-US relations in the process. Virtually single-handedly, Professor Margolis invented the study of the Brazilian Diaspora, and she began research on this topic a full decade before others had even identified the relevant trends. Without her, we probably would not even have this subfield of Brazilian Studies. Dr. Margolis served BRASA in a number of capacities over the years, including taking on leadership roles on various committees. . Beyond that, she has mentored several generations of students at the University of Florida and provided support to many emerging colleagues in Brazil over the years. She has been an active networker and an outstanding contributor to the consolidation of BRASA as an internationally recognized professional organization.

BRASA Lifetime Contribution Award Committee:
James N. Green, Committee Chair, Brown University
Rebecca Atencio, Tulane University
Timothy J. Power, Oxford University


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