March 30, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Patrícia de Santana Pinho, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow and a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Black Studies at Amherst College, is the author of Reinvenções da África na Bahia (R$42, Editora Annablume, São Paulo, 2004), a new book that examines black identities in the Brazilian state of Bahia, considered the most African part of the country.

Using theories of cultural studies and sociology, Pinho traces the ways in which Africa has been imagined and reinvented by Afro-Bahian cultural groups, analyzing how it has functioned as an inspiring reference for the construction of cultural and political black identities, but also serving to freeze blackness in static icons that are manipulated by the local government, the consumer market and the tourism industry. Reinvenções da África na Bahia combines local and global perspectives to examine the position of Brazil in the Black Atlantic world, focusing specifically on African-American “roots tourism” and how it locates Brazil in the African Diaspora.

A native of Brazil, Pinho has B.A. and M.A degrees in sociology and a Ph.D. in social sciences from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in São Paulo. She has been a visiting affiliated graduate student and a visiting lecturer at the Department of African American Studies and the Council on Latin American Studies at Yale University.

More information, in Portuguese, about Reinvenções is available at the publisher's Web site