Eli Carter

Associate Professor of Brazilian film and television
New Cabell Hall 441
Office Hours:
Mon & Wed 11:00 am-12:00 pm

 

ABOUT ME

I am an Associate Professor of Brazilian film and television in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, and I hold an affiliate appointment in the Department of Media Studies. I also serve as the Director of the Portuguese Program, and I am the current Director of the Latin American Studies Program and the Co-Director of the Americas Center / Centro de las Américas.

Broadly speaking, I am a scholar of Global Television and New Media, with a specific emphasis on the Global South and Brazil. My work explores questions having to do with aesthetics, production and distribution, legislation and politics, and inequality, race, and representation. Representative of the interdisciplinary nature of my research agenda, I have published several articles that span the fields of Media Studies and Latin American Studies. In addition to these, I have published two books. The first of which, Reimagining Contemporary Brazilian Television Fiction (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), examines Brazilian television through the singular mode of production and aesthetics in film and television director Luiz Fernando Carvalho's body of work. As a long-time employee of TV Globo, Brazil’s hegemonic over-the-air broadcast network, I argue that Carvalho’s ethical-aesthetic project emerges in direct contrast to his employer’s extremely popular and influential telenovelas. I demonstrate how over his nearly four-decade tenure at TV Globo, Carvalho constructed a hybrid televisual aesthetic aimed at activating the spectators’ senses by borrowing from, experimenting with, and reinterpreting a diverse array of national and global cultural and artistic movements. The result is not only some of the most complex television fiction in the world, but also a body of work that functions as a counterpoint to, and a reflection of Brazilian television fiction’s past and present, as well as its ongoing transition into the future.

My second book, The New Brazilian Mediascape: Television Production in the Digital Streaming Age (University of Florida Press, 2020), examines incipient technologies, recent audiovisual legislation, and the ways in which different political administrations have balanced neo-liberal economic policies with protectionist cultural policies from 1985 to present day. More specifically, The New Brazilian Mediascape highlights the developing relationships between established and emergent creative figures, executives, production companies, networks, and VOD providers since the 2011 passage of the Pay-TV Law, which created a previously non-existent space for distribution and production by establishing quotas for airing locally produced content on pay-television channels. Focusing on specific works, I analyze the ways in which the movement from the telenovela to fictional formats like the television and web series has important consequences for how Brazil reimagines and incorporates its own diversity within the context of an increasingly connected global mediascape.

I am currently working on two separate book projects. Streaming the Americas,--the first of these--aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of streaming services and their impact on the mediascapes and social imaginaries of North, Central, and South America. Employing a hemispheric approach, Streaming the Americas contemplates and probes the recent rise of local and global Internet portals, VOD, and SVOD services and the varied practices and incipient norms associated with these. Streaming the Americas is organized around three broader sections—legislation and production, aesthetics and representation, and reception. The intranational, transnational, and multidisciplinary approaches that make up the different sections will provide the reader with a unique, comparative, and wide-ranging understanding of streaming and its impact in the American hemisphere. The second book project is titled 75 anos de televisão Brasileira / 75 Years of Brazilian Television. In September of 2025, Brazilian television will complete 75 years since its inception in 1950. To commemorate the moment, Esther Hamburger (ECA, Universidade de São Paulo) and I have begun work on an edited collection of original scholarship from researchers across the globe. Exploring history, aesthetics and formats, legislation and politics, production and distribution, and representation and reception, 75 Years of Brazilian Television aims to become a definitive reference for scholars of and readers interested in Global Television Studies and Brazilian culture.

PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS

Streaming the Americas. In Progress

75 anos da televisão Brasileira. Co-edited with Esther Hamburger (Universidade de São Paulo). In Progress

The New Brazilian Mediascape: Television Production in the Digital Streaming Age. Univ. Florida Press, 2020.

Reimagining Brazilian Television: Luiz Fernando Carvalho’s Contemporary Vision. Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2018.

SELECTED ARTICLES

"Precarity in the Televisual Global South: Atlanta and Sintonia.” In Progress.

"Shifting the Center: The Impact of the Pay-TV Law on the Brazilian Audiovisual Field.” Media, Culture and Society. (June 2018): 261-277. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443718781974

*Lead Article

“Representing Blackness in Brazil’s Changing Television Landscape: The Cases of Mister Brau and O Grande Gonzalez.” Latin American Research Review 53.2 (June 2018): 344-357. 

*Recipient of the 2019 Latin American Research Review (LARR)-Pitt Best Article Award

“Silence behind the Talk of Crime: Representations of Violence in a Sample of Contemporary Brazilian Film and Television.” A Contracorriente. 15.1 (Fall 2017): 79-102. 10,450 words

*Honorable Mention 2018 Best Article, Latin American Studies (LASA) Section Awards—Brazil

"Entering through the Porta dos Fundos: The Changing Landscape of Brazilian Television Fiction.” Television & New Media 18.5 (2017): 410-426. 

"Rereading Dom Casmurro—Aesthetic Hybridity in Capitu.Machado de Assis em Linha (Universidade de São Paulo) 7.13 (2014): 19-43. 

"Afinal, o que Querem as Mulheres?: Luiz Fernando Carvalho's Metafictional Critique of Brazilian Television Fiction." Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 23.4 (2014): 363-379.

EDUCATION 

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Hispanic Languages and Literatures

M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Portuguese

B.A. University of California, Davis, Communication, With Honors

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro