César Braga-Pinto

César Braga-Pinto

Program Area(s):  Brazil; Literature

César Braga-Pinto (PhD, University of California Berkeley) specializes in Brazilian and Lusophone African cultures and literatures. He is the author of As Promessas da História: Discursos Proféticos e Assimilação no Brasil Colonial (2003) and the editor of Ligeiros Traços: escritos de juventude de José Lins do Rego (2007). He also co-edited with Fatima Mendonça a  collection of early 20th-century Mozambican journalism writings entitled João Albasini e as luzes de Nwandzenguele: literatura e política em Moçambique 1908-1922 (2014) and À Procura de Saúde: crônicas de um doente/ In Search of Health: chronicles of a sick man (2015).

Elizabeth Schwall

Program Area(s):  Gender and Sexuality; History; Race; Ethnography; Mexico and Central America; Art and Architecture; Brazil

Elizabeth Schwall received her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Columbia University in 2016. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching combines History and Dance Studies to shed light on the physical movements that animated daily life, politics, and intellectual inquiry in the region. Her book manuscript, "Political Moves: Dance and Power in Revolutionary Cuba," examines dance as revolutionary politics, labor, and entertainment in Cuba from 1930 to 1990. Her broader research interests include Brazilian History, Latin American performance, Cold War cultural diplomacy, and the histories of migration and community building through art. Her research has appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review and History of Anthropology Newsletter. She has forthcoming publications in the journals Dance Chronicle and Cuban Studies, and two edited volumes. Her book reviews and encyclopedic entries have appeared in Dance Research Journal, New West Indian Guide/ Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Cuban Studies, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, and the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

Rebecca Seligman

Rebecca Seligman

Program Area(s):  Brazil; Religion; Immigration/Emigration; Ethnography

Rebecca Seligman (PhD, Emory University) is a psychological and medical anthropologist whose research has explored the connection between mental health and religious participation in Brazil.  This research examines the ways in which political-economic and social structures of power shape the embodied subjectivities of many Afro-Brazilians in Salvador, capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia, and how participation in the spirit possession religion, Candomblé, positively affects health and well-being of Afro-Brazilian participants by reshaping their embodied selfhood. Her book based on this research is forthcoming.  Seligman’s current research explores the subjective experiences of Mexican youth in psychiatric treatment in the US, and will ultimately include a transnational comparative element examining adolescent psychiatry in Mexico and the US.


Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion. Culture, Mind, and Society Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.