Projects


Bad Health in a Good Retreat: Life and Death in the “Worst” neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil

“Bad Health in a Good Retreat” focuses on the gap between “Public Health” (as a project of institutions) and “The Public’s Health” (as understood by the population).   My focus is the history of one working-class/poor block in Bom Retiro (the “good retreat” of the title) over a period of about 130 years. The neighborhood is a multicultural one with Catholic immigrants from Southern Europe predominating in the nineteenth century, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe settling prior to World War II, and more recently immigrants of various faiths from Korea, China, Bolivia, and Paraguay. I, along with students and colleagues from Emory and the Federal University of São Paulo, have been working with a Brazilian health system medical team in addition to conducting archival research as we explore long-term continuities in the relationship between health professionals and the public.  


“Pauliceia 2.0”:  Collaborative Mapping Project for the City of São Paulo, 1870-1940

“Pauliceia 2.0” brings four different institutions, across two continents, together in transforming the relationship between the past and present and between producers and consumers of digital history. Pauliceia 2.0’s computational platform allows scholars and the broader public to collaborate in creating, organizing, storing, integrating, processing, and publishing urban history data sets.  Using the city of São Paulo during its period of urban and industrial modernization (1870-1940) as a base, Pauliceia 2.0 provides access to a common database and allows interaction among researchers, who contribute spatially- and temporally-represented events.  The platform allows researchers to produce maps and visualizations while at the same time contributing to the data within the system. This open source project enriches understanding of the history of São Paulo and offers an innovative model of research for the humanities that fosters collaborative work and the free flow of knowledge. 


Published Books: Historical Research on Immigration and Ethnicity in Brazil

My most recent book, Immigration, Ethnicity and National Identity in Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2013; Editora UNESP, 2015) examines the immigration to Brazil of millions of Europeans, Asians, and Middle Easterners beginning in the nineteenth century.

I am also the author of A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese-Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy (Duke University Press, 2007; Editora Paz e Terra, 2008), awarded the 2010 Roberto Reis Prize (Honorable Mention), Brazilian Studies Association; Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Duke University Press, 1999; Editora UNESP, 2001), awarded the Best Book Prize, Latin American Studies Association-Brazil in Comparative Perspective Section; and Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question(University of California Press, 1994; Imago Editora, 2005; Tel Aviv University Publishing Projects, 1997), awarded the Best Book Prize, New England Council on Latin American Studies.