Julian Baldemira, a doctoral student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office. Doctoral candidates can engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies through the DDRA grant. Nationwide across all disciplines approximately 90 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships were awarded.
Baldemira will conduct research for his dissertation in Brazil for six months examining the topic Breaking Imperial Showcases. Indigenous Resistance in the Human Exhibitions of Nineteenth Century Brazil.
Baldemira’s research examines how 19th-century international expositions influence present-day ethnic stereotypes. International expositions introduced millions of people not only to the latest technological developments but also to exhibits of indigenous peoples. Out of curiosity, crowds flocked to them because they wanted to know how “exotic” peoples lived and what they looked like. His dissertation examines forms of resistance enacted by indigenous peoples on display at one of the most important scientific events in 19th-century Brazil: the 1882 Exposição Antropológica Brasileira [Brazilian Anthropological Exposition] (EAB).
Baldemira will address three primary questions: (1) How and why did cannibalism stereotypes travel from Colonial (1550-1821) to Imperial Brazil (1822-1889) and how did they change in new contexts? (2) What did the EAB teach its audiences about the origin and evolution of the indigenous peoples of Brazil through the human display of the Botocudos, and what affective responses was it looking for from the audiences? (3) How did the Botocudos respond to the act of being exhibited as cannibals for the entertainment of Brazilian audiences and what strategies did they use to contest their representation? Examining links between human exhibitions and ethnic stereotypes is not only theoretically important for understanding the genesis of identity in Brazil but also sheds light on present-day phenomena such as ethnic tourism, reality shows, and exhibitions of the body.
Baldemira earned his Bachelor of Arts from Universidad de las Tunas (2015), a Master of Arts from Ohio State (2020), and is a currently a PhD candidate in Latin American Literary & Cultural Studies at Ohio State. His faculty advisor is Ulises Zevallos-Aguilar.
The Office of International Affairs administers the Fulbright-Hays program for Ohio State, and grant competitions are held annually. Doctoral candidates interested in applying for the award must contact Fulbright-Hays program director, Joanna Kukielka-Blaser.