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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 12pm

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Presentation by Brodwyn Fischer, professor of Brazilian and Latin American history at the University of Chicago. Her work explores the roots of urban social and racial inequality, focusing especially on the ways that law intersects with informality to create and constrict possibilities for just and free cities.

In this talk about her book-in-progress, she takes us on a journey through the everyday archives of Recife, Brazil—a city that has existed across its 500-year history as a bastion of patriarchal slavery, a laboratory for informal urbanism, and a cradle for some of Brazil’s most innovative political and social movements. Through this unorthodox urban ramble, Fischer explains what Recife’s tangled history can teach us about the role of informal, relational power in perpetuating the racial and social inequalities entrenched by slavery and other forms of systemic subjugation.

Fischer received her AB from Harvard-Radcliffe College and her PhD from Harvard University. She is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and three books, most recently The Boundaries of Freedom: Slavery, Abolition, and the Making of Modern Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2022). She has received prizes from the Brazilian Studies Association, the Conference on Latin American History, the Social Science History Association, and the Urban History Association and enjoyed generous postgraduate support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and others.


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