I am a historian of modern Latin America who specializes in the study of Brazil. I joined the Latin American Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2023 as part of a transnational project, “The Global Pontificate of Pius XIII: Catholicism in a Divided World” convened around the recent release of records from the papacy of Pope Pius XII (1939-58).
My current book manuscript, Peripheral Citizenship: Urban Grassroots Movements and the Making of Modern Brazil, is under contract with the University of California Press. Peripheral Citizenship explores how grassroots movements in São Paulo’s urban periphery largely composed of rural migrant women and affiliated with the Catholic Church negotiated the simultaneous rise of the megacity and the transition from authoritarian to democratic rule. Drawing on an innovative collaborative digitization project and over fifty oral histories, Peripheral Citizenship goes within these movements to trace how they envisioned, articulated, and modeled alternative understandings of rights and democracy across Brazil’s civil-military dictatorship (1964-1985) and the subsequent transition to democracy.
The collaborative digitization project that I undertook for Peripheral Citizenship led to what has become an essential area of scholarly inquiry for me in the digital and public humanities. This work centers on how historians can partner with historically marginalized communities to preserve their memory and enhance local capacity to undertake future projects. In São Paulo, I directed the Grassroots Archive Digital Initiative (GADI), an effort to organize and digitize historical documents held by grassroots movements in the urban periphery. GADI led me to become a principal investigator for Favelas.br, a national network of favela associations and allied academics committed to systematizing archiving and digitization practices from the periphery. I work extensively as well in digital applications such as through my historical GIS project, Mapping the Megacity, and experimental methodologies like Urban Intermedia.
I also deeply value collaborative work within the academy. I am co-editing with Felipe Loureiro of the Universidade de São Paulo an edition of Latin American Perspectives, “Revisiting the Brazilian Transition to Democracy” set to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Brazil in 1985. Similarly, I am an associated researcher with a FAPESP-funded project on intelligence and diplomatic archives related to U.S.-Brazilian relations during the dictatorship building on my previous long involvement with a similar project, Opening the Archives at Brown University.
Prior to coming to Oxford, I held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Rochester and taught in Latin American Studies at Dartmouth College. I received my PhD in Latin American and Caribbean History from Brown University.