Rosana Pinheiro-Machado on an academic tour accross the USA

Organized by the Brazilian Studies Program at San Diego State University, Rosana Pinheiro-Machado on academic tour discussing the Bolsonaro phenomenon in Brazil

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San Diego State University (SDSU), through its J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Program on Brazil, has organized an academic tour across eighteen North-American institutions to discuss the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Starting on January 26th, Professor Rosana Pinheiro-Machado (Federal University of Santa Maria)—who also writes for The Intercept Brazil—will discuss the fall of Lula and the rise of Bolsonaro, as well as his possible similarities with the Donald Trump’s government and connection with the growth of the far right globally.

The idea of ​​the academic tour arose from Professor Erika Robb Larkins, the director of Program on Brazil. “The election of the ultra-right wing politician Jair Bolsonaro and his portrayal in the international press as the ‘Tropical Trump’ has fostered a great interest in the U.S. North American scholars are eager to learn more about what is happening in Brazil,” says Larkins.

Funded by a North-American network of academic centers and departments in social sciences and Latin American Studies , Pinheiro-Machado will lecture at 18 universities, moving from the West to the East Coast: San Diego State University, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Davis, University of California-Los Angeles, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, Rutgers, Stony Brook, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Brown University, Penn State University, Howard University and Cornell University.

The tour will take place between the end of this month and the beginning of March.  “I also plan to meet groups of Brazilian students who are involved in organizing networks in the defense/support of Brazilian democracy,” says Pinheiro-Machado.

ITINERARY (it will be updated as the events approach)


29: University of California, Santa Cruz, 2pm

30: University of California, Davis, 4:10pm

31: San Diego State University, 11am


1: Academic Meetings in San Diego

4: University of California, Irvine

4-6: Los Angeles

6-10: Arizona

  • 7: Arizona State University
  • 8: University of Arizona

11-13: Madison

  • University of Wisconsin

13-17: Texas

  • 14: University of Texas

17-19: Michigan

  • 18: University of Michigan, 4pm

19: Rutgers University

20: CUNY, StonyBrooks

21: John Hopkins

24: Columbia, 6pm

25: Brown University, 12pm

28: Penn State University


4: Washington

5: Cornell

6-8: San Francisco



Rosana Pinheiro-Machado will address Bolsonaro’s recent election in the context of the rise and fall of economic growth as well as democratic collapse. Drawing on her longitudinal ethnography (with Dr. Lucia Scalco), on consumption and politics among young people from Morro da Cruz, the largest favela of Porto Alegre, she will explore how changes in national development have shaped the individual self and the capacity to aspire to a better life, as well as the ways of doing politics and understanding the world. An examination of these processes can help us understand how the very citizens that exemplified Brazil’s rise as a global democratic power came to support military intervention and Bolsonaro.


Rosana Pinheiro-Machado is a public intellectual, social scientist, and anthropologist at the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM, Brazil). She writes for The Intercept Brasil. Previously, she was a Lecturer in the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford and has held visiting positions at the University of São Paulo and Harvard University. She is the author of the award winning book, Counterfeit Itineraries in the Global South (Routledge 2017), as well as numerous journal and newspaper articles. With Dr Lucia Scalco, Pinheiro-Machado has been carrying out ethnographic research on the “politics of the poor” since 2009. The two scholars are currently completing a book manuscript entitled: From Hope to Hate: Poverty and Politics in Lula and Bolsonaro’s Brazil. Funded by the Australian Research Council, Pinheiro-Machado is part of a team examining new consumer practices in the Global South (Mexico, Brazil, China, and Philippines).


Dr. Erika Robb Larkins

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology

Director, J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Program on Brazil San Diego State University

Rosana Pinheiro-Machado

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