Meet The Team

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Allen, Andrea, GSWS and Anthropology, FAH, FSS

My name is Andrea Allen, I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the Department of Anthropology. My research interests include a focus on Brazil, Portugal, Black Diaspora, LGBTQ studies, religion, race, sexuality, and violence. Currently, I am conducting an ethnographic research project about LGBTQ evangelicals and Pentecostals in São Paulo and Lisbon.

Find Andrea's faculty profile here.


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Besen, Lucas, Ph.D. Anthropologist and Ph.D. Student Media Studies, FIMS

I am a PhD student in Health Information Sciences at Western University. I study women's experiences with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Brazil. I am interested in how beauty, whiteness, and race are interconnected within Brazilian medicine.

Find Lucas' profile here.


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Block, Pamela, Professor, Anthropology, FSS

Pamela Block does research in disability and intersectionality in Brazil, currently focused on three projects: understanding the experiences black disabled women in higher education (with Marivete Gesser and Valeria Aydos), cocreative film making with members of Quilombo Filús who are albino and their families (with Ateliê Ambrosina), and Disability Portraits from Brazil (with Ateliê Ambrosina, Nadia Meinerz, and Marivete Gesser.)

Find Pamela Block's faculty profile here.


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Cursino, Alexandre, Ph.D. Student, Anthropology, FSS

Alexandre (They/he): I’m a Kariri-Puri person born in Kuánápará, also known as Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. I’m a member of the Marakánã Community in Kuánápará. I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. My research aims to honor Marakánã's Educational endeavors to re-strengthen Indigenous Ecological Knowledge within the Tijuca Forest in Kuánápará. My research interests are: Humans and more-than-humans relations, and Indigenous Knowledge resurgence, (De)Colonizing (Auto)Ethnograph, and Indigenous Methodologies.

Find Alexandre's profile here.


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Gesser, Marivete, Adjunct Professor Western Anthropology, FSS, (Professor, UFSC Psychology)

Professor Gesser’s areas of teaching and research draw on feminist and decolonial theories in disability studies, queer/crip theory, and disability justice to study the structural ableism and their relations with neoliberal capitalist system, focusing on Brazil. Her current research aims to study the ableism present in the trajectories of black women with disabilities and their relationships with racism, sexism, and poverty, as well as the coalitions and alliances that emerge between those students who differ from the normative standard of universal human being. Her work has also focused on disseminating disability studies beyond academia, to disability activists and professionals working in Brazilian public policies. The work that has been carried out by Dr. Gesser has been widely awarded, with emphasis on the "Professional Experiences in the Construction of Educational Processes at School" (2009), "Democracy and Full Citizenship of Women" (2011), Cesar Ades Award (2013) from the Federal Council of Psychology (CFP) of Brazil and the Marcus Matraga Human Rights Award from the Latin American Union of Psychology Entities - ULAPSI.

Find Marivete's faculty profile here.


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Granadillo, Tania, Associate Professor, Anthropology, FSS

I am a Linguistic Anthropologist and Linguist. As a native Venezuelan, I have done research on Venezuelan and Canadian Indigenous languages in the areas of documentation, description, revitalization, variation, language ideologies among others. I have supervised and served on committees with research in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela. My current projects are around Indigenous Languages in Venezuela and Canada, but I am also open to any research in the Americas.

Find Tania's faculty profile here.


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Meinerz, Nádia, Brazilian Anthropologist

Specialized in Gender, Sexuality, and Disability Studies. Interested in the dialogue between Ethnography, Art, and Activism.

Find Nádia Meinerz's faculty profile here.


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Nelson, Andrew, Professor, Anthropology, FSS

I am a bioarchaeologist, working on the Central Coast of Peru. I am using non-destructive imaging techniques to examine fardos - Pre-Hispanic funerary bundles containing the remains of an individual and grave goods all wrapped in lots of textiles. The fardo is a microcosm of the individual's biology (esp health and disease) and their cultural context.

Find Andrew Nelson's faculty profile here.


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Pennesi, Karen, Associate Professor, Anthropology, FSS

I am a Linguistic Anthropologist and member of the Brazilian Studies research group. My current project investigates discourses surrounding the shift to non-agricultural employment among rural youth in Ceará, Northeast Brazil. I am exploring the tensions between maintaining ties to traditional culture and regional identity, and aspirations for economic and personal development.

Find Karen Pennesi's faculty profile here.


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Resendes Medeiros, Matthew, Ph.D. Student, Anthropology, FSS

Matthew is a PhD candidate in the department of Anthropology. His research involves a mix of institutional and discursive ethnographic methods that are used to examine how discourses surrounding the topic of “disability” and “inclusion” are shifting in Brazil, and how these changes are affecting people with disabilities. His research attempts to examine how what is, and who counts as having a “disability” is constructed through cultural and linguistic avenues, and how newly emerging terms and narratives surrounding disability within Brazil are being utilized by certain groups while contested by others.

Find Matthew's profile here.