Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Brazil Center Faculty Committee


Sonia Roncador

Sônia Roncador. Photo by Brian Birzer, 2014.

Sônia Roncador, associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has been appointed faculty chair of the LLILAS Brazil Center. She succeeds Associate Professor Fernando Lara of the School of Architecture.

A native of Brasília, Roncador earned her PhD from New York University and has taught at UT since 2003. Her areas of interest include Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures; gender and race; questions of immigration, domestic servitude, and women’s education; and Brazilian and trans-Atlantic cultural studies.

She is author, most recently, of Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony in Brazil (1889–1999) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Her current work looks at the overlap of discourses on immigration, slavery, and servitude with an eye to illuminating the cross-currents of the Portuguese and African diasporas in Brazil.

As Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in her home department, Roncador participated in the redesign of its Iberian and Latin American Studies major.

Roncador’s dedication to Brazilian studies is among the numerous factors cited by LLIILAS Benson director Charles Hale in welcoming her to the Brazil Center position: “Professor Sônia Roncador is a leader in the practice and promotion of Brazilian studies at UT, a stalwart LLILAS Benson faculty affiliate, and an accomplished interdisciplinary scholar of race, gender, class, and cultural production in Brazil. We look forward to her leadership, innovation, and creativity as faculty chair of the LLILAS Brazil Center, building from the fine work of her predecessor, Professor Fernando Lara.”

Indeed, the Brazil Center has thrived under Lara’s leadership. Says Hale, “Professor Fernando Lara has brought tremendous energy and vision to the LLILAS Brazil Center over the past three years, heightening the profile of our scholarly program and raising our collaborative research programs to unprecedented levels of accomplishment. Under Fernando’s watch, we negotiated research and exchange agreements with Brazil of a total value of $700,000, funding for projects sure to bear fruit for many years to come. LLILAS Benson is deeply indebted to Fernando for all that he has accomplished for Brazilian studies at UT; we count him as an exemplary faculty affiliate of the Institute.”


Vivian Flanzer

Vivian Flanzer
Senior Lecturer, Deptartment of Spanish & Portuguese
MA, The University of Texas at Austin
Interests: teaching culture in the foreign language classroom; language teaching and technology; creation of pedagogical materials; foreign language education methodologies; secondary language acquisition

Marcelo J. P. Paixao

Marcelo J. P. Paixão
Associate Professor, LLILAS and Department of African & African Diaspora Studies
PhD, Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ)
Interests: race relations and inequalities in Brazil and Latin American; public policies issues and monitoring; models of socioeconomic development; labor market; statistics of race, ethnic, and gender inequality

Patricia Somers

Patricia Somers
Associate Professor, College of Education
Interests: access and persistence in Brazilian higher education; affirmative action and admissions in the U.S. and Brazil; college student persistence in the U.S.

Joseph Straubhaar

Joseph Straubhaar
Amon G. Carter Centennial Professor of Communication, Department of Radio-Television-Film
PhD, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Interests: global media; Brazilian and Latin American television; Brazilian cultural industry and “soft power”; media and Latino migration; the digital divide in the U.S. and Latin America; global television production

LLILAS Brazilianist Faculty

LLILAS Brazilianist Faculty

Brazilianist Faculty

LLILAS is richly endowed with expertise in Brazil-related topics, with roughly 50 faculty members spread across most of the university's school and colleges.

To learn about LLILAS faculty working on Brazilian issues, visit LLILAS Brazilianist Faculty.

  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

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