Studying indigenous Brazil: The xavante and the human sciences, 1958-2015

Project: Research project

Project Details


Scholars around the world have long considered Indigenous bodies, families, and communities to be uniquely productive sites of research. This project examines how scientists from disparate human-centered fields, including genetics, anthropology, and public health, and Indigenous people have engaged one another since the 1950s in Brazil. Through a case study of the Xavante of Mato Grosso, it traces the evolution of transnational intellectual approaches to characterizing human biological and cultural diversity. It shows how Indigenous people have engaged in scientific knowledge making for their own social, economic, and political ends, and have, in the process, shaped the scholars and disciplines that sought to characterize them. Illuminating the practical, intellectual, and ethical challenges for both the subjects and the scientists, this dissertation contributes to the ongoing discussion of the limitations and possibilities of Indigenous subjects’ interests in finding adequate representation through contemporary research frameworks.
Effective start/end date1/1/16 → …


  • American Council of Learned Societies


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.