Events

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Aaron ANSELL

Dept. of Religion and Culture | Virginia Tech
Presentation: "Clientelism, Health Crises and Social Inequality in Northeast Brazil"

I am a sociocultural anthropologist with a specialization in Northeast Brazil, and research interest in political discourse, social inequality, political theory, and alternative democracies

My work focuses on the intersection of language and material exchange. I am particularly interested in the discourse systems that rural Brazilians use to reconcile traditional patronage politics with liberal models of democracy. I examine these issues in the context of an important regime change in Brazil, the rise of the left-wing Workers' Party government (2003-present). By examining this government's effort to stimulate critical political reflexivity among subsistence cultivators, I explore the meaning of democratic socialism in the new millennium.

The courses I teach at Virginia Tech include Multicultural Communication, Ethnography, Investigations in Religion & Culture, and Historical and Theoretical Frameworks in Material Culture and the Public Humanities (graduate). I also hope to design new courses that appeal to students interested in anthropology.

I currently serve as contributing co-editor of the Society of Linguistic Anthropology's Section News column.

Topics

General opposition to corruption seems to mark common ground among diverse political actors, but specific allegations of corruption further particular ideological projects.