Bruno Carvalho
Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and African and African American Studies
Sustainability Urban Planning
Outside professional activities


Bruno Carvalho works on cities as lived and imagined spaces. Often, he investigates how socio-cultural processes of the past converge in and with the present. Carvalho is writing a book tentatively called The Invention of the Future: A Transatlantic History of Urbanization (under contract with Princeton University Press). It focuses on the experiences and aspirations of city dwellers and planners, recasting modern urbanization within a history of competing visions for the future, from the 1750s onward. The book proposes that urban histories can renew our capacity to envision and pursue large-scale transformations. 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 published numerous articles and essays (see below). His interdisciplinary approaches tend to focus on relationships between cities and culture, bridging history, politics, literary analysis, and urban studies. 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 in Rio de Janeiro (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. He also Co-Chairs the Art, Film, & Culture Committee at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and serves as a member of the Faculty Standing Committee on History and Literature, of the Advisory Committees on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, and of the Brazil Studies Program, as well as the Steering Committees of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, and the Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion. 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, the Bloomberg Center for Cities, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He serves on the boards of the Dumbarton Oaks Ex Horto book series on garden and landscape studies, and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. 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). 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.
Romance Languages and Literatures
African and African American Studies

Outside professional activities

Outside Professional Activities

In the spirit of transparency and integrity, Salata Institute Faculty Associates disclose publicly their key professional activities outside of Harvard University. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some of the activities may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Bruno Carvalho
Columbia University
Fiduciary Board Membership

The Salata institute

The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so.