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Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies

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If you interested in receiving regular electronic notices about activities and events about Brazil, please join our newsletter.

About the Center

Established in 2001, the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies (LCBS) was created to offer a place for scholars and students to pursue and share research and scholarship on Brazil. In carrying out its academic mission, the LCBS stimulates research and dialog on Brazil. The LCBS is committed to training future leaders for careers in academia, as well as in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. Serving as the key focal point for all students and faculty at Columbia with interest in Brazil, the LCBS’s largest constituencies include those affiliated with Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and from the numerous academic units of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  Our main initiatives are described below.

Public lectures & events:

The LCBS’s rich programming includes sponsored seminars and lectures on contemporary and historical aspects of Brazil, including culture, economics, and politics. The LCBS serves as a regular forum for lectures and conferences by visiting Brazilian academics, government officials, business leaders, political actors, and representatives of civil society. The LCBS has hosted leading political figures including President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Minister Marina Silva, and President Dilma Rousseff. Past guests have also included renowned economist Edmar Bacha, former Central Bank Presidents Arminio Fraga and Henrique Meirelles, Ambassadors Antonio Patriota and Alfredo Graça Lima, and Brazilianist scholars Werner Baer and Riordan Roett.


In addition to public programming, the LCBS organizes courses focused on Brazil, including courses on the economic and political development of Brazil, as well as a variety of other topics (e.g., history, education, sustainable development, gender studies, and public security)

Visiting scholars:

The Ruth Cardoso Visiting Faculty program brings leading Brazilian scholars to the campus for one or two semester residencies during which they conduct collaborative research and teach courses in their area of specialization.  The newly launched Lemann Visiting Public Policy Fellows Program provides unique funded opportunities for scholars and practitioners interested in spending one or two semesters at Columbia engaging in public policy-related research, attending and contributing to public programming, interacting with faculty and students, and participating in courses.  Through its Visiting Scholars and Professional Fellows programs, the LCBS offers Brazilian academic and policy experts the opportunity to be in residence on the Columbia campus and to interact with members of the faculty with expertise on Brazil, Latin America, and other topics. The LCBS provides a place for rising young Brazilian scholars to spend up to a year at Columbia while conducting their own research.


The LCBS also helps to promote collaborations between the Columbia community and Brazilian scholars and institutions, working closely with the Columbia University Global Center Rio de Janeiro. The LCBS provides support for Columbia faculty research with a focus on Brazil, as well as engages in original research. For example, th LCBS published a report on “Mobile Learning in Brazil”, which examines policies and initiatives for the integration of information and communication technologies in public schools throughout Brazil. For additional information about the study and to download the complete report, click here, and watch this video (in Portuguese).

Student funding:

The LCBS also provides travel grant opportunities for students to engage in research and internships in Brazil (click here for additional information on funding opportunities for students).

Lemann Fellowships Program​: 

The Lemann Fellowship program aims to contribute accelerating positive social change in Brazil through providing financial assistance to master’s students with commitment to addressing crucial development challenges facing Brazil such as public health and education. The program aims to support the education of students committed to building a stronger, more effective public sector, strengthening corporate social responsibility, and contributing in other innovative ways to cultivate positive social change and economic development in Brazil. The Fellowships are made possible through the generosity of Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann and the Fundação Lemann (Lemann Foundation). For additional information ​about the Fellowship please click here.

Highlighted Brazilianists at Columbia University

Gustavo S. Azenha  Maria José De Abreu Albert Fishlow Ana Paulina Lee  Rodrigo Soares 
Gustavo serves as Executive Director of ILAS and Director of the LCBS. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where his training and research focused on environmental anthropology and political ecology. He specializes on development and socioenvironmental politics in Brazil, with his main research efforts directed towards examining the historical and contemporary interrelations between environmental, Indigenous, and economic development policies and practices. More broadly, his interests and expertise are directed towards the politics of inequality, the negotiation of expert knowledge, and the role of civil society/social movement actors in public policy dynamics. These concerns are animated by a theoretical preoccupation with the interrelations between materiality and culture. Maria José de Abreu´s work engages with a range of anthropological, philosophical and literary debates about temporality, personhood, the human senses and their technological extensions in the Lusophone world. I am currently working on two projects. The first is on the flourishing of Byzantine imaginary in urban São Paulo, Brazil through the practices of a media-savvy urban religious movement and the second is on experiences of impasse particularly among Portuguese youth in the context of the Southern European financial crisis and how today Portugal reimagines its peripheral position in regard to its colonial past.  De Abreu studied Anthropology of Media at SOAS, University of London, and received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam (2009). Albert Fishlow is Professor Emeritus both at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. He is the founding Director of the LCBS. His published research has addressed issues in economic history, Brazilian and Latin American development strategy, as well as economic relations between industrialized and developing countries. His most recent books are O Novo Brasil (Editora SaintPaul, 2011) and Starting Over: Brazil Since 1985 (Brookings, 2011). Ana Paulina Lee’s research interests focus on urbanism, migration, race, gender, literary and cultural studies in 19th and 20th century Brazil. Professor Lee received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and holds an MA in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures from New York University in Madrid, Spain, and a Pós-Graduação Lato Sensu em Cultura e Arte Barroca from the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil. Lee is the author of Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation and Memory (Stanford University Press, 2018). Rodrigo R. Soares is Lemann Professor of Brazilian Public Policy and International and Public Affairs. Professor Soares’ research centers on development economics, ranging from labor, human capital, and demographic economics, to crime.  He has acted as consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and state governments in Brazil on issues related to crime and violence, health, and development. He received his PhD in Economics under the guidance of Gary S. Becker at the University of Chicago in 2002.

LCBS-Affiliated Faculty

Below are listed Columbia faculty whose research and/or teaching interests focus primarily on Brazil.

Names Interests Main Affiliation
Azenha, Gustavo S.  Development and socioenvironmental politics in Brazil; politics of inequality and the role of civil society and social movements in public policy dynamics;  politics of sustainable development, public health, and education & technology ILAS
Castellanos Pazos, José Antonio  Portuguese for Spanish speakers; pedagogy of teaching. Latin American and Iberian Cultures
De Abreu, Maria José Temporality, personhood, the human senses and their technological extensions in the Lusophone world Anthropology
Duarte, Cristiane S.  Child mental health and disparities. Public Health
Fishlow, Albert Economic history and Brazilian economy; trade and finance. International Affairs & Economics
Huback, Ana Paula  Cognitive linguistics;  second language acquisition. Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Lee, Ana Paulina Race and racism in Brazil; Asians in the Americas; Brazilian literary and cultural production. Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Martin, Scott Comparative and global perspectives on labor movements and politics; social welfare policy; political economy of development. International Affairs
Martins, Silvia S.  Substance abuse  and psychiatric epidemiology and policies related to substance use; marijuana use; prescription drug use; urban health. Public Health
Nakahodo, SIdney Economic, social, and political development in Brazil; tech startups; entrepreneurship; innovation; space policy. International Affairs
Nemi Neto, João Queer theory and its ramifications – theoretically and socially – in Brazil; queer pedagogy as an approach to understand normalcy and norms in Foreign Language Teaching. Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Parker, Richard  Social and cultural construction of gender and sexuality; social aspects of HIV/AIDS; relationship between social inequality, health, and disease. Public Health
Pinedo Vasquez, Miguel  Development and conservation projects in Amazonia; patterns of smallholder management of tropical ecosystems and landscapes. Earth Institute
Soares, Rodrigo  Development economics; health; demographic and labor economics; economics of crime. International Affairs & Economics
Sotelino, Fernando International banking and finance; business strategy for financial institutions; banking and capital markets in emerging economies. International Affairs
Souto Manning, Maríana V.  Inequities and injustices in early childhood teaching and teacher education; critically (re)centering methodologies and pedagogies on the lives, values, and experiences of intersectionally minoritized people of color; community-engaged research. Teachers College
Trebat, Thomas  Economic development problems of Latin America, with a particular focus on Brazil, but also covering the major economies of the region. Global Centers

LCBS Support

The Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies and its initiatives are made possible by the generosity of our donors, and is especially grateful to Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann and the Lemann Foundation for their dedication and support for Brazilian studies at Columbia University.

support-brazilWould like to support the Center?
If you have any further questions regarding donations, please contact
Maritza Colón-Fermín at 212-854-4617.

Friends of the Center

If you interested in receiving regular electronic notices about activities and events about Brazil, please join our newsletter.