Undergraduate Research


In the field of Critical Race Studies, Brazil continually proves to be a unique case with its diverse population, incredible nuanced racial classification system, and claim to “racial democracy” and transcending its history of racism and slavery. At the heart of these claims is a large pardo, or mixed race, population that is often characterized as the apex of Brazilianness and multiraciality. The mixed-race body is romanticized and the entire Brazilian populous is placed in a racialized “third space” beyond the recognized system of Black and white identities. How do pardo people conceptualize themselves in this idealized world of racial democracy? How do the systems of Brazil’s history and national identity formation impact the modern understanding of mixed identity? Where do mixed-race people fit in the spectrum of racialized space— if they even do? This project will examine the history of miscegenation, critical race theory, media discourse, and Brazilian census data to evaluate the space that pardo bodies take up in Brazil. Through analyzing and contextualizing these components with the experiences of pardo people, this work will put into focus the moving target that is mixed-race identity in Brazil. As a result, the study will contribute a new perspective of spatiality to mixed- race discourse as well as question our perceptions of racial identity and who it benefits.



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