Assistant Professor of Portuguese
My primary area of research is in contemporary entertainment industries. In my doctoral thesis, From Global Entertainment to Amazonian ‘Tecnobrega’: Mobility in Contemporary Entertainment Practices, I investigated the tecnobrega music scene in Belém do Pará, Brazil. My analysis focused on a key element of this industry, the so-called aparelhagem parties. Aparelhagem is a traveling technological paraphernalia that brings musical entertainment to poor audiences in the Brazilian Amazon Region. These aparelhagens present a sophisticated blending of physical displacement, mobility, visual spectacle, and musical frenzy – a successful combination that propels a popular and powerful local entertainment industry. In a comparative perspective, I have confronted this local cultural phenomenon with products from global entertainment industries – blockbusters, videogames, MTV, theme park attractions, etc. This comparative analysis has disclosed aesthetic patterns that cross social, economic, and cultural boundaries.
In addition, I have investigated the still little explored Canada-Latin America cultural relations by proposing a comparative study of the concepts americanidade (Brazil), americanidad (Hispanic America), and américanité (Quebec). In a comparative fashion again, I place the development of these concepts within a larger frame of identity construction in the Americas. By analyzing the development of the concepts in Brazil, Hispanic America, and Quebec, I also investigate the absence of an analogous English term, “americanity,” in the United States and English-speaking Canada. I show that in spite of their apparent discourse of inclusiveness, americanidade and its variants are permeated by complex relations of power and by intricate dynamics of inclusion and exclusion.