Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies Fellows (2019-2021)

Priscilla Vaz

Priscilla Headshot

Priscilla Vaz is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies and the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies. She holds an MA and PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), graduate certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies (Duke University-UNC), and a BA in Sociology of Ethnic Studies from the University of Sao Paulo. 

Her scholarship is informed by queer Afro-Latina feminist and popular educator experiences.She is an engaged geographer interested in Black social economies, Black urban geographies, geographies of Latin America, Afro-Latina feminisms, and decolonial pedagogical praxis. She has long been interested in the intersection of class, race, and gender in Brazilian society and their resulting geographical patterns of racialized uneven economic geographies. She has also been organizing with under-served communities of color over the past fifteen years. One of her latest activist-scholarship projects is the English for Social Justice Program, a language learning and exchange program for Afro-Brazilian artists, activists and scholars to support connecting their social justice and scholarly initiatives with people and places abroad, especially across the African Diaspora. 

Broadly speaking, her research engages co-elaborative work with Black women residents in majority-Black favelas in Rio de Janeiro to map Black social economies, and to understand how they conceive of solidarity economics and enact grassroots urban planning and community-driven development initiatives. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled “City of God(desses): Afro-feminist urban marronage in the face of the Racial Capitalism” that centers women-led community economies around struggles for housing and childcare in favela City of God. 

Interests: Black social economies, Black urban geographies, Afro-Latina feminisms, grassroots research, decolonizing methodologies, experiential undergraduate teaching.