Patricia Pinho
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Latin American & Latino Studies
  • Affiliations Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Faculty Common, Merrill Faculty Building 34
    • Merrill Academic Building 34
  • Office Hours Winter 2021 Virtual Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm (and by appointment)
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services

Biography, Education and Training

To sign up for virtual office hours during Winter 2021, click here.


My research and teaching focus on the topics of blackness, whiteness, racism, and forms of resistance to racism in Brazil, and more broadly in Latin America.


My new book, Mapping Diaspora: African American Roots Tourism in Brazil (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), examines diaspora tourism as a channel of communication, interaction, and solidarity building between African Americans and Afro-Brazilians. Brazil, like some countries in Africa, has become a major destination for African American tourists seeking the cultural roots of the black Atlantic diaspora. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic research as well as textual, visual, and archival sources, I investigate African American roots tourism, a complex, poignant kind of travel that provides profound personal and collective meaning for those searching for black identity and heritage. African Americans have become frequent travelers across what I call the "map of Africanness" that connects diasporic communities and stimulates transnational solidarities while simultaneously exposing the unevenness of the black diaspora. Roots tourism is a fertile site to examine the tensions between racial and national identities as well as the gendered dimensions of travel, particularly when women are the major roots-seekers.


My earlier book, Mama Africa: Reinventing Blackness in Bahia (Duke University Press, 2010) traced the ways in which Africa has been imagined and reinvented by Afro-Bahian cultural groups, functioning, on the one hand, as an inspiring reference for the construction of cultural and political black identities, but serving, on the other hand, to freeze blackness in static icons that are manipulated by the local government and the tourism industry. Mama Africa is a revised and expanded edition of Reinvenções da África na Bahia (Editora Annablume, 2004), which received an Honorary Award from LASA’s Premio IberoAmericano in 2006.


Before joining LALS, I taught at SUNY, Albany, and I was a post-doc fellow at Amherst College, Yale University and the Open University, UK. I have a PhD in Social Sciences from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP, Brazil.



Selected Publications

Mapping Diaspora: African American Roots Tourism in Brazil. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.


Mama Africa: Reinventing Blackness in Bahia. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.


Co-editor with Bianca Freire-Medeiros of special issue on "Tourism Mobilities" of Plural, Revista de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de São Paulo, 23(2), 2016. http://revistas.usp.br/plural/issue/view/9327


“Bahia is a Closer Africa.” African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World, edited by Ana Lucia Araujo. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2015, 253-284.

“The Dirty Body that Cleans: Representations of Domestic Workers in Brazilian Common Sense.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 13 (1), August 2015, 103-128.

“Nurturing Bantu Africanness in Brazil.” John Burdick and Kwame Dixon (editors), Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012, 21-41.

“Domestic Relations in Brazil: Legacies and Horizons,” co-authored with Elizabeth B. Silva. Latin American Research Review, Vol. 45, n.2, June 2010, p.90-113.

“White but not Quite: Tones and Overtones of Whiteness in Brazil.” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, n. 29 (Vol. 13/2), June 2009, p.39-56.

“African-American Roots Tourism in Brazil.” Latin American Perspectives, 160, vol. 35, May 2008, p.70-86.

“Afro-Aesthetics in Brazil.” Nuttall, Sarah (editor), Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006, p.266-289.

“Gilberto Freyre e a Baianidade.” McNee, Malcolm & Joshua Lund (editors), Gilberto Freyre e os Estudos Latinoamericanos. Pittsburgh: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, 2006, p.227-254.