Acknowledgments
I have accrued many debts writing this book, which has traveled with me
through five moves to four continents. It is a pleasure to try to acknowl-
edge them. First, I am grateful to those, too many to list here, who agreed
to participate in the research, and often made Rio de Janeiro feel like a
second home. Thank you for repaying my nosiness with thoughtful reflec-
tions and generous hospitality. Hermano Vianna has been a dear guide to
Rio de Janeiro and Brazilian thought and popular culture. His friendship
sustained me through many periods of doubt, and his humor and writing
provoked me to examine many of my “Brazilianist” (and North American)
habits of the mind. Mirian Goldenberg is both a friend and mentor. Our
discussions—as we walked along the long boardwalks of the Zona Sul—
were invaluable for doing fieldwork. Peter Fry’s pioneering scholarship on
race made me appreciate the difficulty of cross-cultural interpretations.
Our anthropological conversations were delightful. I am grateful to Joana
Collier do Rêgo Barro, both for her friendship and generous help in film-
making. Shanti Avirgan, a fellow traveler in Brazilian anthropology, made
the journey more fun. I am grateful to John Collins both for his wonder-
ful scholarship and his conversations in the field. Thank you to Stéphan
Malysse for early introductions to the field and to Brazil. I am forever grate-
ful to Joana, who indulged me, tolerated my “Spockiness,” and made Bra-
zil work on me as much as vice versa—fico seu orelhão. In Ceará, I found
a collaborator and kindred spirit in Simone Lima, whose enthusiasm for
ethnography and film were infectious. Olívia von der Weid, Ludmila Fer-
nandes de Freitas, and Gisele of IFSC provided invaluable research assis-
tance. Lucas Bennet gave helpful advice on photography. I’m also grateful
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