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Grant number like: HB-251153-17

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Anadelia A. Romo
Texas State University - San Marcos (San Marcos, TX 78666-4684)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017

Race and the Art of Tourist Promotion in Bahia, Brazil: Crafting an Urban Landscape, 1900-1964

Completion of a book-length study of how promotion of tourism forged and reinforced racial stereotypes in Bahia, Brazil, from the abolition of slavery in 1888 through the 1950s.

My project examines the reinvention of a former sugar zone in Brazil’s Northeast and probes how the promotion of tourism forged and reinforced racial stereotypes in the aftermath of abolition. To do this I turn to sources neglected by historians: illustrated tourist guides for Brazil’s colonial capital of Salvador, Bahia, written from the 1920s through the 1950s. I show how the budding tourism industry of this era developed a distinctive iconography that placed Afro-Bahians as central to the city’s landscape, an apparently inclusive visual culture that worked well with Brazil’s promotion of itself as a racial democracy. Yet I argue that the intersection of tourism and a new visual landscape of the city shaped and consolidated pernicious stereotypes of blackness and exoticized visions of African culture that continue to dominate the visual culture of the city today. I am seeking an NEH grant for a year of full-time work to be able to write three central chapters of my book manuscript.