Join us on March 18 (Thursday), from 12pm-1:30pm CST for our Winter faculty workshop. We will be discussing professor Brodwyn Fischer’s essay, “Intimate Inequalities: Afterlives of a Slave City.” Professor Rashauna Johnson (History, UChicago) will be the discussant. See more information below

Brodwyn Fischer is a Professor of Latin American History at the University of Chicago, where she also directs the Center for Latin American Studies. She is a historian of inequality and its persistence, specializing in the study of Brazil and Latin America, and focus particularly on informality, cities, citizenship, law, migration, race, and slavery. Her current book, Intimate Inequalities: Urbanism, Slavery, and Bounded Freedom in a Brazilian City, explores the historical co-evolution of urbanism and informality.

Abstract: Recife’s history, like those of so many Atlantic cities, has mostly been written from narrow archives, molded to north Atlantic scripts. My “paper” is really excerpts of two separate chapters from a book-in-progress that seeks to understand Recife as a city forged by slavery and its afterlives, with a particular focus on intimacy, informality, and forms of relational power that operate outside of legal and institutional forms. In these excerpts, I introduce Recife’s “History” with a capital H, exploring the ways in which contemporaries portrayed Recife from the 19th to the mid-20th centuries; probing the ways in which those portrayals, as narratives and archives, erase much of the lived city; and using the story of one young girl to ask if it is possible to use Recife’s relatively unexplored “noisy archives” to better understand the meaning of urbanity for women and men on the borders of slavery and freedom.

Winter Faculty Workshop with Brodwyn Fischer

“Intimate Inequalities: Afterlives of a Slave City”

 Thursday, March 18, 12-1:30pm CST

Discussant: Rashauna Johnson (Associate Professor of US History)

Click here to register for the Zoom meeting

You can download the paper here

(to get the password, please email slavicult at


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