Aparecida Vilaça obtained her PhD in Social Anthropology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (1996) and is a professor of social anthropology at the same institution. She is a researcher of the National Resarch Council (CNPq) and of the Rio de Janeiro State research foundation (Faperj) and has been a visiting professor at several insitutions, including the University of Cambridge (UK), Bergen (Norway), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), and the Universidad Autónoma de México.
Vilaça has worked among the Wari’ Indians in Southwestern Amazonia, Brazil since 1986. Her fieldwork was funded, among other sources, by the Wenner-Grenn Foundation and John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She has specialized in the study of socio-cultural changes among indigenous peoples, with an emphasis on conversion to Christianity and schooling. Her current research focuses on the school learning of science by Wari’ children and young people, with the aim of understanding the equivocations produced in the encounter between different ontologies, especially regarding the idea of nature.
Vilaça is the author of Comendo como gente. Formas do canibalismo wari’ (second edition, Mauad Editora, 2017), Quem somos nós. Os Wari’ encontram os brancos (UFRJ editora, 2006), Strange Enemies. Indigenous Agency and Scenes of Encounters in Amazonia (Duke, 2010), Praying and Preying. Christianity in Indigenous Amazonia (California UP, 2016), Paletó e eu (Todavia, 2018) and co-editor of Native Christians. Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (Ashgate, 2009).
At Stanford, professor Vilaça will be co-teaching a course with Professor Tanya Luhrmann, Department of Anthropology, in winter 2020.
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