Mauricio Acuña

Graduate Student
Email Address:
Office Location: 
021 East Pyne

Mauricio Acuña is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University and in the Department of Social Anthropology at University of São Paulo. He has a B.A. in Social Sciences and a M.A. in Social Anthropology from the same institution, and was awarded the FAPESP Scholarship and Honors Award Silvio Romero (Institute of National Historic and Artistic Heritage) for his master’s dissertation. He is the author of A ginga da nação: intelectuais na capoeira e capoeiristas intelectuais (Editora Alameda) and a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology (University of São Paulo) and at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures (Princeton University). His particularly interested in researches connecting the areas of Anthropology, History and Literature, with a focus on the relationship among Social Thought, Popular Culture, Intellectuals, Disciplinary Knowledge and National Imaginations. Currently, he is collaborating on a new critical edition of Raízes do Brasil (Cia das Letras, 2016) and working on two projects. The first one is a biography of Vicente Ferreira Pastinha, an important capoeira master practitioner (mestre), and touches on issues of subjectivity and his role and contradictions as a black intellectual. The second, is an investigation about the First World Festival of Negro Arts, held in Dakar, Senegal, in 1966, explores three different nation-state’s performances and imaginations about the African legacy in the New World, as well as the controversies and its discontents.

Mauricio Acuna has presented papers in several conferences on many topics such as capoeira, music and agency; black intellectuals in Brazil; Federico Garcia Lorca and the Harlem experience; social markers of difference; cinema, gender and political violence. A complete curriculum can be found at:

The book can be found at: and a review published by the Virtual Brazilian Anthropology can be seen at 

Courses Taught:
POR 101 – Beginner's Portuguese I (Fall 2014 and 2015)
LAS 337 – Latino Global Cities (Spring 2016), assistant