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April 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm

History’s Dantas Named 2016-17 National Humanities Center Fellow

The National Humanities Center announced that Dr. Mariana Dantas, Associate Professor in the History Department at Ohio University, will be a resident fellow at the center during the 2016–17 academic year.

Dantas and the 36 other leading scholars were selected from a pool of 449 applicants. The NHC is a privately incorporated institute for advanced study in the humanities. Fellowships are awarded on basis of individual research projects. During their time at the center, fellows are expected to make significant progress toward publication. They also will have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures, and conferences at the center.

Dr. Mariana Dantas

Dr. Mariana Dantas

Dantas received the fellowship for her in-progress book, “Family Formation, Race, and Social Mobility in Eighteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil.” The project examines the construction of socio-racial categories and experience of race in colonial Brazil. It focuses on two families of mixed Portuguese and African descent and their efforts to achieve social mobility. It contributes to the literature on racial formation in colonial Latin America and stresses the relevance of family history to that discussion. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, network visualization and analysis tools, and a multigenerational approach, it argues that families of mixed descent shaped colonial Brazilian and Latin American socio-racial hierarchies. It will support the production of a scholarly monograph and a primary source website.

Dantas is currently finishing up her term as the Director of Latin American Studies at Ohio University. The NHC fellowship caps another active period in her scholarly career. In 2015, Dantas published two chapters and an article: “Slave Women and Urban Labor in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World,” in New Directions in Slavery Studies: Commodification, Community, and Comparison, edited by Jeff Forret and Christine Sears (Louisiana University Press, 2015); “Pai Branco, Mãe Negra, Filho Pardo: Formação Familiar e Mobilidade Social na Comarca do Rio das Velhas,” in História da Família no Brasil(séculos XVIII, XIX, e XX): Novas análises e perspectivas, edited by Douglas Libby, José N. C. Meneses, Júnia F. Furtado, and Zephyr Frank (Belo Horizonte: Editora Fino Traço, 2015); and Miners, Farmers, and Market People: Women of African Descent and the Colonial Economy in Minas Gerais,” African Economic History 43 (2015).

She also participated in an invitation-only research workshop: “Eighteenth-Century Studies Workshop: The Eighteenth Century City”at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven. Dantas was also invited to serve as a roundtable discussant during the “Locating and Connecting Latin American and the African Diaspora” conference, held a the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She also co-convened, organized, and served as a discussant for the The Global City, Past and Present, AHRC International Research Network Workshops: “Spaces,” held at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in May, 2015, and “Political Economy,” held at the Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November, 2015.

Dantas was awarded an 1804 Grant by Ohio University to strengthen Ohio University’s participation in the Global City research network through more faculty involvement in the network’s workshop and a summer program to be held at the Athens campus in July 2016.

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