Brazil Initiative Programming Archive – Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars

As part of the Brazil Initiative, UW-Madison will be welcoming a series of visiting scholars, as well as representatives of U.S. and Brazilian government, industry, business, and commerce.

Fall 2014

Maria José Somerlate Barbosa received her PhD in Luso-Brazilian Language and Literature and British and American Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990. Barbosa began her career at the University of Arizona, Tucson and is currently a Professor of Luso-Brazilian culture, literature, and Portuguese language. Barbosa’s research focuses on authors such as Clarice Lispector, Erico Verissimo, Adélia Prado, and Edimilson de Almeida Pereira and includes themes such as gender, class, aging, and race. Barbosa has published books including: Recitação da passagem: A obra poética de Edimilson de Almeida Pereira (2009), Passo e compasso: Nos ritmos do envelhecer (2003), Clarice Lispector: Des/fiando as teias da paixão (2001 trans.), Clarice Lispector: Spinning the Webs of Passion (1996).

Fall 2013

Rebecca Atencio received her PhD in Portuguese from UW-Madison in 2006, after which she began her career at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In 2009, she joined the faculty at Tulane University, where she is currently assistant professor of Brazilian literary and cultural studies.

Rebecca has a book coming out with University of Wisconsin Press’s Critical Human Rights Series this spring, just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 military coup; the title is Memory’s Turn: Reckoning with Dictatorship in Brazil. This book explores synergies between artistic-cultural production and state memory policies from 1979 to 2012. She also founded the blog Transitional Justice in Brazil, which monitors breaking developments related to memory of the military dictatorship. Her current work focuses on the Brazilian Amnesty Commission, charged with issuing formal apologies and monetary reparations to victims of dictatorship, and the National Truth Commission, both currently underway. She participated in the Amnesty Commission’s historic first visit to the United States. Rebecca is now working on a new book project that tells the story of these two commissions with a focus on the role that anxieties over revenge–and struggles over the meaning of justice for human rights victims–play in Brazilian memory politics.

Fall 2012

Durval Muniz de Albuquerque Júnio is a Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in addition to his capacity as Collaborator with the Federal University of Pernambuco and as the President of the National Association of History (Associação Nacional de História – Anpuh). He holds a Doctorate degree in History from the State University of Campinas (1994), a Master’s in History from the same institution (1988), and a Bachelor’s in History from the State University of Paraíba (1982). His emphases within History are in Theory and Philosophy of History. Presently his interests and research focus on themes of gender, identity, culture, the Northeast of Brazil, masculinity, historical biography, and the production of subjectivity.

Durval Muniz de Albuquerque Júnior has authored several books; among them is the classical work first published in 1999 with its fifth edition published in 2011: A Invenção do Nordeste e outras artes (São Paulo: Cortez). Other important works include: Nos destinos de fronteira: história, espaços e identidade regional (2008), História: a arte de inventar o passado – Ensaios de teoria da história (2007), Preconceito contra a origem geográfica e de lugar – As fronteiras da discórdia (2007), Nordestino: Uma invenção do falo (uma história do gênero masculino – Nordeste 1920/1940 (2003).

Spring 2011

Leandro Russovski Tessler is a physicist with a B.S. (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 1982), M. Sc. (Universidade de Campinas, UNICAMP, Brazil, 1985), Ph. D. (Tel Aviv University, Israel, 1989), and Livre-Docente (UNICAMP, Brazil, 1996). He joined UNICAMPS’s Instituto de Física “Gleb Wataghin” (IFGW) in 1991, where he has been Associate Professor since 1999. In 1990 he was a Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS) researcher (Chargé de Recherche 2) at ISMRa, Caen, France, and in 1993-94, Visiting Researcher (Marie Curie Scholar) at Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France. Tessler has directed several M.Sc. theses and Ph. D. dissertations. Author or co-author of more than 50 research papers and also a book chapter and several articles about higher education and affirmative action in Brazilian newspapers.

Prof. Tessler was the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physics at IFGW from 2000 to 2002 and Director of UNICAMP’s Admissions (Vestibular) from 2002 to 2009, where he was one of the proponents of UNICAMP’s Affirmative Action Program. Since 2000 he has worked frequently as an institutional evaluator for the Brazilian Ministry of Education (INEP/MEC) and was a member of the Committee for Evaluation of Graduate Courses in Physics (CAPES/MEC) in 2004. He has been a member of the Committee for Evaluation of Undergraduate Courses (ENADE/INEP/MEC) in Physics since 2005.

Prof. Tessler has also been a member of the REUni Program Steering Committee at SESu/MEC since 2007, which is in charge of curricular reform and expansion of the Federal Higher Education system in Brazil. In 2009 he was a special advisor for the President of UNICAMP on international issues until he was appointed Director of International Relations at the same university. Current research interests include higher education systems and curricula, internationalization of education, access and affirmative action and rare-earth doped nanostructured semiconductors.

Recent Papers:

  • The pursuit of equity in Brazilian Higher Education, International Higher Education 63 (Spring 2011), pg 23.
  • Ação afirmativa, cotas e autonomia universitária, Jornal do Brasil, 21 June 2009, pg. A10.
  • Verdadeira reforma do ensino superior, Folha de São Paulo, 18 January 2007, pg. 3.

Fall 2010

Glauco Arbix Glauco Arbix is an associate professor of sociology at the University of São Paulo. From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Arbix served as the President of the Institute for Applied Economic Research. He was also named the General Coordinator of the “Strategic Unit,” an advisory board to the Brazilian President, during the same time period. He is currently a member of the Brazilian National Council of Science and Technology and the United Nations Development Program’s International Advisory Group. Additionally, he heads the Observatory for Innovation at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo. He holds a Ph.D in Sociology from University of São Paulo (1995). Dr. Arbix has taught as a professor of political science at the University of Campinas (1996-1997) and the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (1995-1996). He has also taught as a visiting scholar at the University of California – Berkeley (2008, Berkeley, USA), Columbia University (2007, NYC, USA), the London School of Economics (2001, UK), and at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999, MIT). His publications include Inovar ou InovarA Indústria Brasileira entre o Passado e o Futuro (2007) and Brasil, México, África do Sul, Índia e China: Diálogo entre os que Chegaram Depois, with A. Comin, M. Zilbovicius and R. Abramovay. (2002). Professor Arbix was recently appointed as a New Century Fulbright Scholar. This program funds thirty top academics and professionals from the United States and abroad to collaborate for a year on a topic of global significance. The New Century Scholar theme for 2009-2010 is “The University as Innovation Driver and Knowledge Center.”

Professor Arbix will be teaching Growth, Firm Strategies, and the New Development State. IB 365/IB 765/LACIS 440. Section 002.



President Dilma Roussef has appointed Dr. Arbix to be the new director of FINEP (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos), which is part of Brazil’s Ministry of Science of Technology.

Spring 2009

Diana Page Former U.S. Consul, Recife, Brazil (April 2009)