John Collins is Director of Queens College’s Program in Latin American and Latino Studies and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center.
A specialist in historical ethnography, semiotics, race, and urban anthropology, he has conducted research in Brazil since 1992. His study of the ways that the making of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Salvador, Bahia has impacted Brazilian racial politics, “Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian ‘Racial Democracy,’” is currently in press at Duke University Press. Professor Collins is now researching an historical monograph that examines the lives of Africans who were shipped as slaves to mid-19th century Brazil and intercepted at sea by a British Navy charged with policing the high seas, ostensibly to end the slave trade. “Under English Eyes” looks closely at the struggles for citizenship, family, and survival of these Africans, who arrived in Brazil at a moment when Brazilians treated them as slaves, but because of British pressure could not be assigned slave status, at least officially. In addition to his teaching, research, and writing, Professor Collins serves as an editorial board member and film and book review editor of Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.