Stephen Bocskay

Stephen Bocskay

Visiting Assistant Professor of Portuguese
Languages, Literatures & Cultures


Humanities 237

PhD Brown University

Stephen Bocskay, Visiting Assistant Professor of Portuguese

I study black cultural production in Brazil and Lusophone Africa with a special interest in authoritarian regimes and post-colonialism. My work can be found in scholarly venues such as the Latin American Research Review, Afro-Asia, Latin American Perspectives, Chasqui, the Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, and edited volumes published in Brazil.

My current book manuscript, Voices of Samba: Music and Afro-Politics in Authoritarian Brazil, examines when and with whom a militant Afro-Brazilian political discourse develops in samba culture during the military regime (1964-1985). More specifically, I address public and private censorship and surveillance practices as they relate to Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools, musical performances, and compositions during this time. Within this historical context, I study how mechanisms of institutional surveillance targeted black political cohesion at-large and perspectives on black history and culture. By way of declassified police documents and field interviews, the (alternative) press, documentaries, and critical literature, this book project transforms how we think about black political mobilization and identity and reshapes conversations about Afro-diasporic consciousness, not just in Brazil but across the Black Atlantic.

I have also worked as juror in some of Latin America’s leading film festivals. My commitment to cinema of the Portuguese-speaking world is also evident in my subtitling of internationally acclaimed Brazilian films such as Sergio Oliveira and Renata Pinheiro’s Açúcar (2017) and Carro Rei (2021). More recently I am working in this capacity with directors like Gabriela Amaral Almeida, among others.

I believe strongly in the importance of public education and also in engaged scholarship. Towards that end, I have written and contributed to journalistic pieces on music and cinema in venues such as Correio Braziliense and O Globo. Additionally, I have provided commentary about Brazilian society and culture on some of the country’s most prominent media networks and cultural outlets such as Sem Censura, Estúdio Móvel, the Instituto Moreira Salles, and Cultne. As guest and keynote speaker, I have delivered presentations in universities and institutions throughout Brazil and the United States.

I also prioritize exchange and collaboration with scholars in Latin America and have published an essay with Rafael Pinto Ferreira de Queiroz about the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Marku Ribas.

Before coming to UAlbany, I held teaching positions at Harvard University, the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, and the University of Michigan.