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John Collins

CUNY: Queens College & the Graduate Center (U.S.A.)

What is left on the Brazilian periphery? Populism, critique, and the lives of democracy after Lula


John Collins is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is Co-Chair of the Columbia University Brazil Seminar and from 2011 to 2017 he directed the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Queens College. John holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Yale College. He has been a Fulbright Fellow in Brazil (1997-98), a member of the CUNY Advanced Research Cooperative (2019) and a Mellon Fellow at both the CUNY Graduate Center Committee on Globalization and Social Change (2014-15) and the CUNY Center for the Humanities (2004-05 & 2010-11). His field research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the U.S. National Park Service, and the Brazilian PIBIC Program.

In addition to numerous articles, Collins is the author of Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy, which earned the 2016 Anthony Leeds Prize for Urban Ethnography (Duke University Press, 2015), translator and editor of Sharing this Walk: An Ethnography of Prison Life and the PCC in Brazil (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), and co-editor of Ethnographies of U.S. Empire (Duke University Press, 2018). He serves on the boards of the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.

John works mainly on issues of ethnographic history, semiotics, cultural heritage politics, and human-animal relations. At the Italian Academy he will be writing a new book on Afro-Brazilian women’s politics and the relationships between the Left-leaning governments of Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva and Brazil’s current right wing, authoritarian national government.

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