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. In 2020, I published The Art of Brasília: 2000-2019. The book argues that Brasília’s reputation as a cultural wasteland is outdated. Its contemporary artists are transforming how people think about the city and how they use its public spaces. These 21st-century artists are recasting Brasília as a vibrant city of the arts in which cultural production affirms the creative right to the city of marginalized ?populations. Brasília’s initial 1960s art was state-sanctioned, carried out mainly by privileged, white men. In contrast, the capital’s contemporary art is marked by its diversity, challenging norms about the types of art that can symbolize the city. This book analyzes prose, poetry, film, cultural journalism, music, photography, graffiti, street theater, and street dance that demystify the capital’s inequities and imagine alternative ways of inhabiting the city. 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.