Derek Pardue

senior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2017/2018
discipline Social Anthropology
Associate Professor, Coordinator of Brazilian Studies Program, Department of Global Studies, Aarhus University

Research project

Reconceptualising Race and Migration as Urban Theory

Human migration has contributed to urbanization in terms of infrastructure and cultural branding. Yet, many urban scholars and city administrations continue to frame migration as a set of "problems" to be solved. Rather than focus on border politics, I propose that an investigation into the spatial dynamics of occupation, presence and segregation produces more valuable analyses of the impact of migration on cites. I argue that the expressions and regulations of these spatial factors help determine the identity of a city and, in essence, make the city livable.


After the disastrous earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Brazil and its largest city, São Paulo, became a destination for not only Haitians but also tens of thousands of Senegalese, Congolese and other Central and West Africans. The visibility of these "new" africanos has affected the city in terms of religion, residential demography, expressive culture and economic production.


However, occupation and the making of place are frequently ephemeral. During the 9 months of fieldwork conducted since 2016, I observed and was told repeatedly that immigrant actions, whether related to employment, political organization or the most basic rights of residency, are extremely dependent on relationships forged with Brazilians. Migrant occupations are thus highly contingent.


My objective is to complete a book manuscript during the EURIAS fellowship. My contribution to the growing scholarship and activism around immigration in Brazil is to articulate spatial presence to narrative experience. I believe that a focus on contingency may hold certain lessons about not only migrant lives and human rights but also our overall understanding of how cities operate and how, in effect, humans produce space. Contingency is also a keyword in my choice of representation. In this project, I blur genres of text to produce ethnographically informed fiction in order to create a dialogue between interpretations of migrant belonging and urban social theory.




Derek Pardue is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Brazilian Studies Program at the Department of Global Studies at Aarhus University. He holds a Ph.D in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His main research interests are Urban expressive culture, creolization and migration, citizenship and identity politics with a geographical focus on Brazil, Portugal and Cape Verde.



Selected publications


‘Lisbon as Black Presence: Race, Place and Art’, in S. Low (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City, 2017.


'Creole Chronotopes: the Convergences of Time and Place in Becoming Black', Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, [online], December 2016, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1080/1070289X.2016.1260015, published 5 December 2016.


''Cash or Body': Lessons on Space and Language from Cape Verdean Rappers and their Beefs', Popular Music and Society [Special Issue ], vol. 39, no. 3, 2016, pp. 332-45.


'Kriolu Scenes in Lisbon: Where Migration Experiences and Housing Policy Meet', City and Society, vol. 26, no. 3, 2014, pp. 308-330.


'Place Markers: Tracking Spatiality in Brazilian Hip Hop and Community Radio', American Ethnologist, vol. 38, no. 1, 2011, pp. 102-113.





senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study (HWK)
discipline Political Science
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study (HWK)
discipline Sociology
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study (HWK)
discipline Urban Studies
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study (HWK)
discipline Cultural Studies