Present Pasts: Legacies of Slavery and Resistance in Brazil

A lecture by University Distinguished Visiting Scholars Professors Hebe Mattos and Martha Abreu
Hebe Mattos, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Martha Abreu, Universidade Federal Fluminense

Hebe Mattos and Martha Abreu have been conducting collaborative research since 2005 on slavery and its aftermath, on the memory and legacy of slavery, and on reparation and reconciliation in Brazil. 

Mattos and Abreu have been distinguished scholars for many years. Mattos has authored or co-authored five influential books on slavery and its legacies in Brazil and the Atlantic World. Abreu has authored three groundbreaking books on slavery, popular culture and the African presence in Brazil.

Working together over the past fifteen years, Mattos and Abreu have directed and produced four documentary films on slavery and its legacies in Brazil, particularly in the Paraíba Valley, the region at the heart of Brazil’s coffee boom in the nineteenth century—a boom fueled by brutal exploitation of enslaved Africans and their descendants ( Working with fellow scholar Keila Grinberg, they coordinated Passados Presentes (Present Pasts), a public history and community cultural tourism project in Rio de Janeiro (

They continue to collaborate on the Rio de Janeiro City Council’s Museum of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture (MUHCAB), directed by Abreu with the participation of Mattos. They are also undertaking a new oral history research project on the history of illegal enslavement and the cultural heritage of Africans and Indigenous people in Minas Gerais, under the direction of Mattos, with the collaboration of Abreu. 


Tuesday, March 24 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm

McNeir Auditorium
37th and O St., N.W., Washington

Event Type

Special Events


Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Public


Georgetown College, History



Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Bryan McCann

Event Contact Email

Bryan Mccann

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Bryan Mccann

Accommodations Contact Email

Bryan McCann

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