Bruno Carvalho

Bruno Carvalho

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
Affiliated Professor in African and African American Studies
Affiliated Professor in Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design
Bruno Carvalho

Bruno Carvalho works on cities as lived and imagined spaces. He studies relationships between cultural practices and urbanization, specializing on Brazil from the eighteenth century onward. Carvalho’s interdisciplinary approaches bridge history, literary analysis, and urban studies. Often, he investigates how socio-cultural processes of the past converge in and with the present. He is writing a book on different ways in which people imagined the future of cities over the past two centuries or so. A Rio de Janeiro native, Carvalho received his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University (2009) and taught at Princeton University between 2009-2018.


Carvalho has written numerous articles, and is the author of the award-winning Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro (a revised Brazilian edition is forthcoming). He co-organized a critical edition in Portuguese of United States constitutional documents, which circulated in Brazil and played a role in independence movements (O Livro de Tiradentes: Transmissão atlântica de ideias políticas no século XVIII, 2013). Carvalho is also editor of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies: The Eighteenth Century, and co-editor of Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures in Rio de Janeiro (2016), Essays on Hilda Hilst: Between Brazil and World Literature (2018), and of the book series Lateral Exchanges, on historical and contemporary issues in design and the built environment.

At Harvard, Carvalho is Co-Director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, a member of the Faculty Advisory Committees on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, and in the Brazil Studies Program, as well as a Faculty Affiliate of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, the Center for the Environment, the Graduate School of Design, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

To learn more about Professor Carvalho, read these recent interviews with the Harvard Gazette, DRCLAS, and a Brazilian newspaper (in Portuguese).

Research and Teaching Interests:

Urban Studies; interplays between urban diversity, inequality and segregation; race and the history of racism; sociospatial theory; architecture and urban planning; migration; environmental humanities and climate change; film and media studies; Latin American studies; Luso-Afro-Brazilian literatures and cultures.

Links to selected recent articles and book chapters:

“Where Did the Future Go?,” Between Catastrophe and Revolution (eds. Daniel Bertrand Monk and Michael Sorkin)
“Learning with São Paulo,” São Paulo: A Graphic Biography (bilingual edition)
“Imagined Futures,” Fluvial Metropolis: Past Visions /Future Imaginaries (bilingual edition)
Writing Race in Two Americas: Blackness, Science and Circulation of Knowledge in the Eighteenth-Century Luso-Brazilian World and the United States”;
Rio, City of Epithets: Olympic urbanism in context”; Occupy All Streets:  Protesting a Right to the Future”; An Arcadian Poet in a Baroque City: Cláudio Manuel da Costa’s Urban Pastorals, Family Life, and the Appearance of Race.” “Introduction,” Hilda Hilst, Letters from a Seducer; Entre dois palcos: o futebol e o teatro na literatura de Nelson Rodrigues;” “A favela e sua hora,” English version: “The Favela and Its Moment”; “Filmes sem futuro: reflexões sobre fins e finais em documentários de Errol Morris e Eduardo Coutinho,” Cinema, A Indústria Radical; “From Iberia to Recife: Mysticism and Modernity in Manuel Bandeira’s Earlier Poetry;” “Um Outro Sertão Literário: linguajar pantaneiro e espaço nacional em Inocência de Taunay;” “A ética de andar nas ruas do Rio de Janeiro;”  “A Tale of Three Buildings: Brazil’s Estado Novo;Charting Brazil in Borges;” “Mapping the Urbanized Beaches of Rio de Janeiro: Modernization, Modernity, and Everyday Life.”
In progress:
After the Future: Urban Visions in Brazil and the Atlantic World (tentative title).

Contact Information

518 Boylston Hall
By appointment