The Department is pleased to announce that, on Monday, November 11th, Marcus Avelar successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “Urban Spirits: Language, Race, and Modernity among Umbandistas in São Paulo, Brazil.” Committee members characterized the dissertation as a “page turner,” which speaks to the elegance with which Marcus was able to wage an innovative argument regarding ideologies of language, race, and hybridity in Brazil. Marcus is pictured at right, along with his dissertation chair, Prof. Kira Hall, and the other members of his committee (Jeremy Calder, Natasha Shrikant, Anna Bentes, and Carla Jones).
Marcus has taken a prestigious postdoctoral position at Florida International University's Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment, where he is working on the implementation of the vision of the Center and on new research related to Brazilian identity in South Florida. In his postdoc, Marcus is investigating the question of how Brazilianness figures in local constructions of Latinidad, how Brazilians orient to South Florida’s Spanish-English bilingualism, and to questions of Spanish-English-Portuguese language contact. Marcus is supervised by Dr. Phillip Carter, a sociolinguist who specializes on Spanish in the Miami area.
Congratulations to the newly minted Dr. Marcus Avelar!