Sophia F Beal
My research focuses on literary and cultural analysis within the Portuguese-speaking world, primarily analyzing questions related to public space and urban development. I contribute to the curriculum in the areas of Brazilian, Portuguese, and Lusophone-African cultural production. During the 2018-2019 academic year, I am on sabbatical. I am finishing my book manuscript The Art of Brasília: 2000-2018. The book argues that contemporary artists in Brazil’s capital are transforming the use and perception of the city’s public space. The capital’s artists have recognized the power of art to alter spatial practices, especially to affirm historically marginalized groups’ right to the city. The Art of Brasília analyzes this change across multiple genres, including prose, poetry, music, photography, graffiti, cultural journalism, film, street theater, and street dance. During the Spring 2015 semester, I was on research leave. During that time, I was an Affiliate of Harvard University's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. From 2010 to 2012, I was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Tulane University in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, affiliated with the Program for African and African Diaspora Studies. My book Brazil under Construction: Fiction and Public Works (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) studies the intersections between fiction and public works in Brazil in the twentieth century. Zouk published the Portuguese translation, Brasil em construção: as obras públicas na literatura do século XX in 2017.