Co-Director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative
Affiliated Professor in Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design
Bruno Carvalho works on cities as lived and imagined spaces. He studies relationships between cultural practices and urbanization, with a focus on Brazil. Carvalho’s interdisciplinary approaches bridge history, literary analysis, and urban studies. Often, he investigates how socio-cultural processes of the past converge in and with the present. He is writing a book on different ways in which people have imagined urban futures since the 1750s, tentatively titled The Invention of the Future: A cultural history of urbanization in the Atlantic World. A Rio de Janeiro native, Carvalho received his Ph.D. at Harvard University (2009) and was a faculty member at Princeton University (2009-2018).
Carvalho has written numerous articles and essays. He is the author of the award-winning Porous City: A Cultural History of Rio de Janeiro, published in Brazil in a revised and expanded edition. He co-organized a critical edition in Portuguese of United States constitutional documents, which circulated in Brazil and played a role in independence movements (O Livro de Tiradentes: Transmissão atlântica de ideias políticas no século XVIII, 2013). Carvalho is also editor of Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies: The Eighteenth Century, and co-editor of Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures (2016), Essays on Hilda Hilst: Between Brazil and World Literature (2018), and of the book series Lateral Exchanges, on historical and contemporary issues in design and the built environment.
At Harvard, Carvalho is Co-Director of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and a member of the Faculty Standing Committee on History and Literature, of the Advisory Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, and of the Brazil Studies Program, as well as the Steering Committee of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History. He is also a Faculty Affiliate in Critical Media Practice, at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, the Center for the Environment, the Graduate School of Design, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
To learn more about Professor Carvalho and his research, read these recent interviews with the Harvard Gazette, DRCLAS, and Brazilian publications Nexo and O Globo (in Portuguese). For recent publications, see here.
Research and Teaching Interests:Urban Studies; interplays between urban diversity, inequality and segregation; race and the history of racism; sociospatial theory; architecture and urban planning; migration; environmental humanities and climate change; film and media studies; Latin American studies; Luso-Afro-Brazilian literatures and cultures.