Robin E. Sheriff is a cultural anthropologist with a BA from Bard College and a PhD (1997) in Anthropology from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. Her previous work concerns race and racism in Brazil, with a focus on Rio de Janeiro. In documenting how racism is experienced by ordinary Brazilians of African descent, she contributed to a growing national discussion that led to significant policy changes in Brazil. She has published articles in American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology and the Journal of Latin American Anthropology. Her book Dreaming Equality: Color, Race and Racism in Urban Brazil (Rutgers 2001) describes her 20 months of fieldwork in a hillside favela in Rio.
Robin Sheriff’s current work focuses on nighttime dreaming and its links to history, culture, and sociality. Growing out of her seminar on the anthropology of dreams and dreaming, this research project investigates the dreams of emerging adults in the US, and gives special attention to the prominent and changing roles of media and technology in both waking and dreaming states. Her article, “Dreaming of the Kardashians” (Ethos 2017), for example, looks at the influence of reality television and social media on today’s generation of college students. Through an examination of dreams, she has developed, with Jeannette Mageo, the concept of specularity—the increasing tendency of young Americans to persistently imagine themselves as if seen through a camera’s lens (Ethos 2019). This and other concepts highlight ongoing research on the shifts in consciousness occasioned by round-the-clock engagement with smart technology.
Ph.D., Anthropology, City University of New York
B.A., Anthropology, Bard College
Dreaming and culture
Race and racism
ANTH 411: Honors/Global Perspectives
ANTH 500: Peoples&Cult/Latin America
ANTH 510: Animals, Identity, and Culture
ANTH 611: History Anthropological Theory
ANTH 625: Sexuality in Cross-Cultural
ANTH 700: Internship
ANTH 785: Dreams and Dreaming
ANTH 796: Reading and Research
Sheriff, R. E. (2018). Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio de Janeiro. ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY, 91(2), 847-851. doi:10.1353/anq.2018.0041
Sheriff, R. E. (2017). Dreaming of the Kardashians: Media Content in the Dreams of US College Students. Ethos, 45(4), 532-554. doi:10.1111/etho.12179
Sheriff, R. E. (2017). A Cat for All Senses: A Multispecies Autoethnography. Anthropology and Humanism, 42(1), 8-10. doi:10.1111/anhu.12161
Sheriff, R. E. (2016). Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America. JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, 48(2), 431-433. doi:10.1017/S0022216X16000262
Sheriff, R. E. (2016). Revolt of the Saints: Memory and Redemption in the Twilight of Brazilian Racial Democracy. JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH, 72(3), 368-370. doi:10.1086/687490
Sheriff, R. E. (2015). Zero Hunger: Political Culture and Antipoverty Policy in Northeast Brazil. LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY, 57(4), 165-167. Retrieved from http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/
Sheriff, R. E. (2001). A refuge in thunder: Candomble and alternative spaces of blackness. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF RELIGION, 69(4), 939-942. doi:10.1093/jaarel/69.4.939
Sheriff, R. E. (2001). Dreaming Equality: Color, Race and Racism in Urban Brazil. Rutgers University Press.
Sheriff, R. E. (2000). Exposing Silence as Cultural Censorship: A Brazilian Case. American Anthropologist, 102(1), 114-132. doi:10.1525/aa.2000.102.1.114
Sheriff, R. E. (1999). The Theft of Carnaval: National Spectacle and Racial Politics in Rio de Janeiro. Cultural Anthropology, 14(1), 3-28. doi:10.1525/can.1922.214.171.124