Celso T. Castilho
Assistant Professor Of History
PhD, UC Berkeley, 2008
Modern Latin America, with an emphasis on Brazil; Atlantic slavery and abolition; race, gender, and citizenship; national identity and state formation.
Office Hours: summer - no office hours, On leave 2013-14
Office: 123 Benson Hall
Celso Castilho is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching focus on Latin America and the Atlantic World, with particular interests on Brazil, nineteenth-century Latin America and the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora. His book manuscript, The Politics of Slave Emancipation in Pernambuco: Abolitionism, Race, and Citizenship in Northeastern Brazil, 1865-1893, analyzes the role of slave agency and abolitionist mobilization within the ending of slavery. It examines the construction of collective political identities, and grapples with how such collective action changed, too, the language and style of politics and the boundaries of belonging in northeastern Brazil. Using the case study of Pernambuco, the book offers a regional perspective on the major political changes in Brazil from the Paraguayan War and the late 1860s to the proclamation of the Republic in the early 1890s. Research for the manuscript has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the Lewis Hanke Fellowship from the Conference of Latin American History (CLAH), a Library Research Grant from the Center for Latin American Studies at the the University of Florida, the University of California, Berkeley, and Vanderbilt University. Celso Castilho is a recipient of a 2012-2013 Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Fellowship in conjunction with the Sawyer Seminar entitled “The Age of Emancipation: Black Freedom in the Atlantic World.”
Celso Castilho co-authored, with Camillia Cowling, “Funding Freedom, Popularizing Politics: Abolitionism and Local Emancipation Funds in 1880s Brazil,” Luso-Brazilian Review, 47:1 (Spring, 2010): 89-120. This article has won the 2011 Conference on Latin American History Prize. In 2010, he also published, “Agitação abolicionista, transtornos políticos: O Recife na véspera da ‘Campanha Abolicionista’,” in Conferências sobre Joaquim Nabuco: Joaquim Nabuco e Wisconsin, ed. Severino J. Albuquerque (Rio de Janeiro: Bem-Te-Vi, 2010): 313-41. A forthcoming article, "Performing Antislavery, Remaking Political Citizenship: The Practices and Dynamics of Abolitionist Mobilization in 1880s Recife, Brazil," is currently under consideration.
He is in the preliminary stages of a second book-length project which will expand his research on slave emancipation in northeastern Brazil. The focus is on Ceará, and the broad political, economic, social, and demographic implications of early abolition (1884). Beyond this project, a third book will examine the interplay between antislavery and colonialism across the Luso-Atlantic world, analyzing how these themes interconnected Brazil, Portugal, and Angola between the 1880s and 1910s.
At Vanderbilt, he co-directs with Jane Landers the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar, an interdisciplinary working group supported by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. He is also co-director of a four-year FIPSE/CAPES grant (US-Brazilian Federally Funded Student Exchange) entitled, “One Nation out of Many: Multiculturalism in Brazil and the United States.” The grant runs from 2010 to 2014, and involves a consortium of four universities, including: Vanderbilt University, University of Florida, UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco), and UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul).
In July 2011, he will be co-organizing with Prof. Maria Helena Machado, of the University of São Paulo, a workshop entitled "Da Abolição à Emancipação: Raça, Gênero e Identidades" at the National Association Meeting of Brazilian History, to be held in São Paulo, Brazil.
Professor Castilho teaches survey courses on Brazil and Modern Latin America. In addition, he offers a seminar on Race and Nation in Latin America, structured comparatively around the case studies of Peru, Brazil, and Cuba.
Celso Castilho was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and raised in Los Angeles, California. He received his BA in History from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA.