Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Workshop

Marginalized Groups in Brazil

Thursday 28 March 2019
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Queer performativities of genders and sexualities in the ‘periphery’ of Rio de Janeiro


Despite the fact that the digital world in many parts of the globe is easily accessed through a smart phone, in the so-called Brazilian ‘periphery’ (and perhaps elsewhere!) there are people who use a lanhouse (a type of cybercafé) to perform their onlineOffline lives. In this talk, I explore the semantic effects on a group of people’s lives of digital semiotic practices carried out in a specific lanhouse, located in a ‘marginal’ district of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In particular, I seek to report on locally occasioned queer performativities of genders and sexualities by following the theoretical view that genders and sexualities are not given before discourse. A scale-sensitive approach (Carr and Lempert 2016) is used to fathom how ‘identity’ meanings performed in the here-and-now of interaction entextualize (repeat and alter) solidified discourses produced beyond the local context of their performances. It is highlighted how translocal discourses influence the dynamics of social life and make room for contradiction and for the enactment of creative and alternative performances of who we can be or become. The distinction between center and periphery is then understood as a scale–making resource as many other dichotomous tropes (local/global, macro/micro etc.).


Luiz Paulo Moita-Lopes is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Researcher of the Brazilian National Research Council. He is the editor of Global Portuguese: linguistic ideologies in late modernity (Routledge, 2015/2018) and   co-editor of Aila Review 30, Meaning making in the periphery (John Benjamins, 2017). His last papers appeared in the journal Gender and Language (2018) and in the book Language and Culture on the Margings (Routledge, 2019). His research interests include the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality and social class performativities in our onlineOffline contemporary timeSpaces as well as issues related to language and globalization.

New wave of socio-environmental mobilization in Brazil: opportunities and threats


Following the political weakening of the socio-environmentalism built by traditional populations in last decades, new forms of social mobilization around nature seem to be emerging in Brazil. Formerly based on alliances with transnational activism and on rural livelihood narratives, more recent initiatives seek alliances with urban actors and address urban issues such as water scarcity and unhealthy food.  In this talk I will discuss the transformative power of these new alliances to bridge classes and space divides (rural poor and urban middle-class) as well as potential threats of this shift in mobilization strategy for the rural poor in Brazil.


Fábio de Castro is Assistant Professor of Brazilian Studies. He is an environmental anthropologist with MSc in Ecology in 1992 (State University of Campinas, Brazil) and PhD in Environmental Science/Anthropology in 2000 (Indiana University, USA).  Fabio has research experience with academic, non-governmental and governmental organizations in Brazil and in the United States. He is a collaborating researcher at the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (Indiana University, USA), and at the Center for Maritime Research (MARE), University of Amsterdam). Fábio is interested in the socio-ecological processes shaping patterns of resource use and management. His research focuses on local governance of natural resource and the dilemma between conservation and development goals at local and broader scales. His interdisciplinary background is reflected in his theoretical and methodological approach, combining ethnographic, historical, socioeconomic, institutional and ecological data to understand how patterns of resource use are shaped and transformed. Fabio is particularly interested in the connections between processes across socio-ecological scales, and how partnerships between users, government and private sectors influence resource conservation.

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