Katya Wesolowski

Katya Wesolowski

Lecturing Fellow of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
Cultural Anthropology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90019, Durham, NC 27708-0025
(919) 660-7087


As an anthropologist and dancer, I am interested in the interrelationship between bodies, cultural practices and politics.  My research focuses on Brazil and the African Diaspora; expressive culture and globalization; the intersection of play, sport and dance; learning communities, social inequalities and identities.  I am also concerned with the methodological and pedagogical challenges of researching, writing and teaching about creativity, embodied knowledge and ethnography.  My current work centers on the Afro-Brazilian game/dance/fight of capoeira, which I have also practiced and taught for over twenty years.  Recent publications include “Professionalizing Capoeira: the politics of play in Twenty-first-Century Brazil”,“From ‘Moral Disease’ to ‘National Sport’: Race, Nation and Capoeira in Brazil,” and forthcoming, “Imagining Brazil in Africa: capoeira’s transatlantic roots and routes" and "Baile Funk and Kuduro: embodied (dis)articulations of national belonging in Brazil and Angola."

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 2007

Wesolowski, K. “From “moral disease” to “national sport”: Race, nation, and capoeira In Brazil.” Sports Culture in Latin American History, 2015, pp. 161–82.

Wesolowski, Katya. “Body Games: Capoeira and Ancestry.” Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, vol. 22, no. 1, WILEY, Mar. 2017, pp. 198–201. Open Access Copy

Wesolowski, K. “Professionalizing capoeira: The politics of play in twenty-first-century Brazil.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 39, no. 2, Mar. 2012, pp. 82–92. Scopus, doi:10.1177/0094582X11427892. Full Text

Wesolowski, Katya. “Native and National in Brazil: Indigeneity after Independence.” Latin American Indian Literatures Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, 2012, pp. 181–83.

Wesolowski, K. “Review of Stephanie Springgay and Debra Freedman (eds), Curriculum and the Cultural Body.” Teachers College Record, Dec. 2007.

Wesolowski, K. “"A Diasporic Practice Goes Back to Africa".” Anthropology News, vol. 47, no. 5, American Anthropological Association, May 2006, pp. 27–28. Open Access Copy

Wesolowski, K. “Review of Daryle Williams, Culture Wars In Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945.” Luso Brazilian Review., vol. 39, 2002.

Wesolowski, K. “Review of Robert M. Levine, The History of Brazil.” Luso Brazilian Review  Special Issue, 500 Years of Brazil: Global and Cultural Perspectives, vol. 38, 2001.