Positions

Research Areas research areas

Overview

  • Robin E. Sheriff is a cultural anthropologist with a BA from Bard College and a PhD (1997) in Anthropology from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Her previous work concerns race and racism in Brazil, with a focus on Rio de Janeiro. In documenting how racism is experienced by ordinary Brazilians of African descent, she contributed to a growing national discussion that led to significant policy changes in Brazil. She has published articles in American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology and the Journal of Latin American Anthropology. Her book Dreaming Equality: Color, Race and Racism in Urban Brazil (Rutgers 2001) describes her 20 months of fieldwork in a hillside favela in Rio.

    Robin Sheriff’s current work focuses on nighttime dreaming and its links to history, culture, and sociality. Growing out of her seminar on the anthropology of dreams and dreaming, this research project investigates the dreams of emerging adults in the US, and gives special attention to the prominent and changing roles of media and technology in both waking and dreaming states. Her article, “Dreaming of the Kardashians” (Ethos 2017), for example, looks at the influence of reality television and social media on today’s generation of college students. Through an examination of dreams, she has developed, with Jeannette Mageo, the concept of specularity—the increasing tendency of young Americans to persistently imagine themselves as if seen through a camera’s lens (Ethos 2019). This and other concepts highlight ongoing research on the shifts in consciousness occasioned by round-the-clock engagement with smart technology.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2018 Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de JaneiroAnthropological Quarterly.  91:847-851. 2018
    2017 Dreaming of the Kardashians: Media Content in the Dreams of US College StudentsEthos.  45:532-554. 2017
    2017 A Cat for All Senses: A Multispecies AutoethnographyAnthropology and Humanism Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly.  42:8-10. 2017
    2016 Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin AmericaJournal of Latin American Studies.  48:431-433. 2016
    2016 Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial DemocracyJournal of Anthropological Research.  72:368-370. 2016
    2015 Zero Hunger: Political Culture and Antipoverty Policy in Northeast BrazilLatin American Politics and Society Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs.  57:165-167. 2015
    2001 A refuge in thunder: Candomble and alternative spaces of blacknessJournal of the American Academy of Religion.  69:939-942. 2001
    2000 Exposing silence as cultural censorship: A Brazilian caseAmerican Anthropologist.  102:114-132. 2000
    1999 The theft of carnaval: National spectacle and racial politics in Rio de JaneiroCultural Anthropology.  14:3-28. 1999

    Book

    Year Title
    2001 Dreaming Equality: Color, Race and Racism in Urban Brazil 2001

    Teaching Activities

  • Dreams and Dreaming Taught course 2018
  • History Anthropological Theory Taught course 2018
  • Internship Taught course 2018
  • Animals, Identity, and Culture Taught course 2018
  • Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Taught course 2018
  • History Anthropological Theory Taught course 2017
  • Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Taught course 2017
  • Animals, Identity, and Culture Taught course 2017
  • Reading and Research Taught course 2017
  • Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Taught course 2017
  • Dreams and Dreaming Taught course 2016
  • History Anthropological Theory Taught course 2016
  • Honors/Global Perspectives Taught course 2016
  • Peoples&Cult/Latin America Taught course 2016
  • Reading and Research Taught course 2016
  • Dreams and Dreaming Taught course 2015
  • History Anthropological Theory Taught course 2015
  • Honors/Global Perspectives Taught course 2015
  • Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Taught course 2015
  • Dreams and Dreaming Taught course 2014
  • History Anthropological Theory Taught course 2014
  • Religion, Culture, and Society Taught course 2014
  • Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

  • B.A. Anthropology, Bard College
  • Ph.D. Anthropology, City University of New York
  • Full Name

  • Robin Sheriff