Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Zemurray Teaching Fellow Annie Gibson Publishes Book on Brazilians in New Orleans

March 30th, 2012

The Stone Center is very proud to announce the release of the book, Post-Katrina Brazucas: Brazilian Immigrants in New Orleans by Zemurray Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, Annie Gibson.

Her book looks at the wave of Brazilian immigrants – Brazucas – seeking job opportunities in reconstructing New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina since 2005 as well as the subsequent formation of immigrant networks and a new cultural enclave. These immigrants came from various regions in Brazil, with the majority from the states of Minas Gerais, Rondônia, Pará, and Goiás. Brazilian immigration to New Orleans reached its peak in 2006 and 2007, when there were as many as 7,000-10,000 Brazucas in the city. Annie explains that due to the ways in which Katrina affected New Orleans geographically, the Brazilian immigrants did not settle in one particular area of the city – a unique occurrence among the other, more spatially condensed Brazilian communities in the US. Rather, many of the original immigrants lived uptown, where storm damage had been less severe, and others resided with work crews in surrounding areas like Metairie and Kenner. Today, Chalmette’s Brazilian population has increased as many immigrants were able to buy and remodel affordable housing.

Despite the considerable presence of Brazilian immigrants in cities like Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and now New Orleans, Annie’s is one of a small number of books examining Brazilians in the Southern United States. Given the understudied nature of the topic, her book offers a new perspective on Brazilian migration and cultural assimilation.

Post-Katrina Brazucas has been a particularly personal endeavor for Annie, having moved to New Orleans only weeks before Katrina to pursue her M.A. through the Stone Center. After several months of exile in Austin, Texas, she returned to New Orleans and began working as a Portuguese translator for the city’s burgeoning Brazilian population. Research for the book, conducted both domestically and in Brazil, has allowed Annie to couple two places and cultures that are very dear to her heart.

Since joining the Stone Center in 2005, she has earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American Studies. During this time, she has received funding to conduct research in both Cuba and Brazil and was also the recipient of two FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowships. In addition to her academic work, Annie has been very active in the Casa Samba performance group in New Orleans. For more information about Annie, see her profile on our website.

The Stone Center congratulates Annie on her book publication and her contribution to the New Orleans community.

Brazil + People
Laura Murphy
Clinical Associate Professor - International Health & Development