Reighan Gillam

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Reighan Gillam researches the ways in which subjects experience, negotiate, and challenge stereotypical and controlling images. She examines these issues through the lens of Afro-Brazilian media producers in southeastern Brazil. She is currently working on a book manuscript, entitled Visualizing Black Lives, to understand how Afro-Brazilians turn to their racialized experiences as a source for visual content and the kinds of images they generate. In the Fall 2018, Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center named her the Peggy Rockefeller Scholar.


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Cornell University
  • B.A. Anthropology, University of Virginia
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 2018 –
    • Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, 2016 – 2018

    PostDoctoral Appointments

    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan,
  • Research Keywords

    Brazil, Race and Ethnicity, African Diaspora, Media, Representation, Antiracism, Resistance, Social Movements

  • Book Chapter

    • Gillam, R. (2016). But You (Don’t) Look Like an African American: African Diaspora Looking Relations between Brazil and the United States. Race and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Dia pp. 99-111. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Gillam, R. (2013). Resistance Televised: The TV da Gente Television Network and Brazilian Racial Politics. Watching While Black: Centering the Television of pp. 207-219.

    Journal Article

    • Gillam, R. (2017). All Tangled Up: Intersecting Stigmas of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Mariana Rondón’s Bad Hair. 1 pp. 47-61.Black Camera. Vol. 9 (1),
    • Gillam, R. (2017). Representing Black Girlhood in Brazil: Culture and Strategies of Empowerment. 4 pp. 609-625.Communication, Culture, and Critique. Vol. 10 (4),
    • Gillam, R. (2016). The help, unscripted: constructing the black revolutionary domestic in Afro-Brazilian media. 6 pp. 1043-1056.Feminist Media Studies. Vol. 16 (6),
    • Gillam, R. (2016). Learning to Transgress: Law 10.639 and Teacher Training Classrooms in São Paulo, Brazil. 1 pp. 70-79.Transforming Anthropology. Vol. 24 (1),
    • Gillam, R. (2015). Do I Look Suspicious?’: Digital Acts, Narratives of Resistance to Police Violence in Brazil. 3-4 pp. 286-302.College Language Association. Vol. 58 (3-4),
    • Gillam, R. (2013). (En)countering Exceptionalism: Afro -Brazilian Responses to the Rise of Obama. 3 pp. 323-335.Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. Vol. 8 (3),