Episode #31 - May 1st, 2021

It is hard to believe, but there is a world leader who laments that previous dictators did not kill more of their countrymen. He also has pretty clear ties to violent militias, including one militia who killed a city councilwoman in Rio. However hard it may be to believe, this is the case with Brazil and their President, Jair Bolsonaro. In this episode we speak with Harvard University Professor, Bruno Carvalho, about the rise of President Bolsonaro and how people can support such a man. This insightful discussion provides listeners with the opportunity to learn more about authoritarians and how they come to power. It is helpful to understanding the wider trend of democratic backsliding and what needs to be done to confront it.



Bruno Carvalho works on cities as lived and imagined spaces. He studies relationships between cultural practices and urbanization, with a focus on Brazil. Carvalho’s interdisciplinary approaches bridge history, literary analysis, and urban studies. Often, he investigates how socio-cultural processes of the past converge in and with the present. He is writing a book on different ways in which people have imagined urban futures since the 1750s, tentatively titled The Invention of the Future: A cultural history of urbanization in the Atlantic World. A Rio de Janeiro native, Carvalho received his Ph.D. at Harvard University (2009) and was a faculty member at Princeton University (2009-2018).

 

Carvalho has written numerous articles and essays. He is the author of the award-winning Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro, published in Brazil in a revised and expanded edition. He co-organized a critical edition in Portuguese of United States constitutional documents, which circulated in Brazil and played a role in independence movements (O Livro de Tiradentes: Transmissão atlântica de ideias políticas no século XVIII, 2013). Carvalho is also editor of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies: The Eighteenth Century, and co-editor of Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures (2016), Essays on Hilda Hilst: Between Brazil and World Literature (2018), and of the book series Lateral Exchanges, on historical and contemporary issues in design and the built environment.

 

At Harvard, Carvalho is Co-Director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and a member of the Faculty Standing Committee on History and Literature, of the Advisory Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, and of the Brazil Studies Program, as well as the Steering Committee of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History. He is also a Faculty Affiliate in Critical Media Practice, at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, the Center for the Environment, the Graduate School of Design, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.


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