Each year, the Center for Latin American Studies welcomes various researcher and visiting scholars from across the globe. Center scholars engage with our faculty and students, expand upon their research by taking advantage of UF's resources, and help bring new scholarly and cultural perspectives to our community. Below are the current research and visiting scholars at the Center.
Dr. Athayde is an environmental anthropologist and interdisciplinary ecologist, who has carried out extensive research and training activities in collaboration with Amazonian universities in Brazil. At the University of Florida, Dr. Athayde is an Associate Research Scientist in the Center for Latin American Studies and Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) Program. She is the UF Leader of the Amazon Dams Network (ADN), a World Social Science Fellow of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and a lead author and expert for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Her research interests include conservation of biocultural diversity, inter- and transdisciplinary research and practice, indigenous knowledge systems, and participatory research and management of social-ecological systems. Her work has been recognized with awards from both the Center for Latin American Studies and TCD Programs, from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Florida, from the Ministry of Culture in Brazil, and from the International Society of Ethnobiology.
Monica is currently a doctorate student in History at the University of Santa Catarina State (UDESC), in the Post-Graduate Program in History (PPGH), linked to the research line: Political Cultures and Sociability. She is an associate researcher in the African-Brazilian Studies Center (NEAB/UDESC). She is a member of the Observatory of African-Brazilian Culture in Santa Catarina, participating in the Black Culture study group and the critical study group on whiteness. She coordinates the NEAB’s International and Interinstitutional Relations Work Group. She is a member of the Black Researchers Nacional Association (ABPN) and has experience in the areas of African History, addressing themes like Orality, Literature, Cultural Heritage, and Social Memory.
Her Research Project “Griots in contemporary Mali: The trajectory of Toumani Kouyate” aims to reflect about the oral tradition in Western Africa, starting from the way of being, thinking and living of the djelis (words masters). It seeks to set approximations and differentiations to the role of the griot (stories tellers and animators in Western Africa). The practices of the djelis are translated into knowledge and cultures from an “Africa-subject”, with initiatory rites, social relationships, cosmogonies, and teachings, which bear ancestries. The griots have the djelis as their masters, they cheer up and sing with traditional instruments. What are the history and memory meanings for the djelis and griots in Western Africa? We intended, through the memory of Toumani Kouyaté, a djéli from Mali, to understand the role of the oral tradition, interpreting, mainly, the practice of the djeli, as a word wise in the “walking” on the cultural universe of the different Africas in the past and in the present.
Silvane's research aims to analyze the political role of women in the struggles to maintain their way of life in the quilombola (former maroon) communities of the State of São Paulo, through the conquest of land titling and access to basic social rights such as health care and formal education. The research seeks to understand the ways in which quilombola women acted in the elaboration of public policies and, at the same time, were influenced by them, from the 1988 Constitution. At that historical moment, Article 68 of the Transitional Constitutional Provisions legitimized the remaining quilombolas communities rights to the recognition and ownership of land. However, the constitutional text alone did not guarantee access to these rights. The rural and urban black movement organized to enforce what was laid down in the law, and other social actors were important in this process: Anthropologists, sectors of the Catholic Church and Pentecostals. With this, new legal norms were created, bringing new fights. In this study, the leadership of quilombola women in these processes is emphasized.
For the past 25 years, my research has focused on rural-urban migration in Peru and Peruvian transnational migration in the United States, Spain, Italy, Japan, Argentina, and Chile. This work includes studies in migrant networks, remittances, illegality, fiestas, religious practices, political mobilization, family organization, social conflict, and other themes. Analytically, my research is inspired by recent theories of transnationalism and diaspora and, methodologically, I have used a multi-sited research strategy. Theoretically, I want to understand how physical and social mobility are conceived and practiced in a globalized world. My current research is focused on climate change and its environmental effect on Peru's rural and urban population. Of particular interest is how Peru's growing water scarcity due to global warming and the melting glaciers generate new conflicts and how local, regional and national institutions respond to these conflicts. I also explore how rural and urban communities create new strategies and forge new alliances to adapt to the changing environment and examine the role that family households, communal organizations, migrant associations, international tourists, development agencies, small-scale industries, mining companies and state institutions play in the struggle to adjust to the growing water scarcity. My ambition is to create a comparative anthropology of mountain areas and to explore how mountain people use mobility as a strategy to adapt to climate change.