Eli Carter

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Associate Professor of Portuguese
Office Hours: 
Wed 10:30-11:30 am and by appt.


About me:

Hmmm… Let’s see…Well, I grew up in California. I suppose that’s not all that interesting, but I liked it. UC Davis was for undergrad, UCLA for the PhD. Both were great. Brazil found its way into my life while still at Davis. It transformed me. After a few starts and stops, mixed with a couple of detours, I came to UVA to teach about Brazilian (sometimes Luso-) culture. Like most Brazilianist’s, I love it all: literature, film, history, music, food, futebol, and yes, even television. Seriously, I’ve written a good bit about Brazilian television (and the Internet, film, and popular culture, too). If interested, you can check out some of what I’ve done; just click on the links below.

Some of my work:

This is the first book I wrote. It’s about Luiz Fernando Carvalho. He’s one of the most creative directors working in Latin America. The cool thing about Carvalho’s work is that, up until very recently, nearly all of it was for television. The often-conflicting interests of artistic experimentation and broadcast network television produced, in Carvalho’s case, some of the most compelling television fiction made anywhere in the world. In the book, I get into a pretty deep analysis of why this is. Even if you’re not interested in televisual aesthetics, film, literature, theater, or narrative, you’ll be happy to know that I also talk a good bit about the history of film and television in Brazil and the current state of the Brazilian television and film industries.  You never know, you might like it. 

Here is another book I wrote. This one is also about Brazilian television, but not the one of Carvalho’s heyday, when tens of millions of Brazilians would tune in, almost religiously, Monday through Saturday to watch one of Globo’s telenovelas. You see, the Globo Group is one of the largest media companies in Latin America and up until 2012, its famous telenovelas dominated local ratings and drew enormous advertising fees. Globo was king and there were no challengers in sight. But something changed. It wasn’t necessarily out of the blue, but it did happen fast. I don’t want to spoil the read, so I’ll just add that the Internet, Netflix, local production companies, Globo’s streaming service, and a recently passed law or two all feature heavily. I think it’s pretty good. 

As with my books, in my articles, I find myself returning to the same questions. These two articles (1 and 2) focus on television aesthetics, narrative construction, and adaptation. All fun topics. These (3 and 4) focus more on television and new media as industries, which is also quite interesting. The last two (5 and 6) discuss contemporary Brazilian film and television and new media representations of race, violence, and urban poverty. Some of these articles, to not shame the others, I won’t say which, were awarded prizes. Very cool. 

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Office Address: 
New Cabell Hall 441
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