about me

Fred_Headshot_2022I am Frederico Freitas, a scholar of digital, environmental, urban, and Latin American history.

I am originally from São Paulo, Brazil, where I worked for years as an art director doing primarily graphic design, and motion graphics. In 2010 I moved to California to pursue a PhD in Latin American History at Stanford University.

Since 2016, I have been part of the Department of History at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where I am an associate professor of digital and Latin American history and core member of the Visual Narrative cluster. My work with the cluster includes applying machine learning and computer vision to assess urban change during economic downturns.

My first book, Nationalizing Nature: Iguazu Falls and National Parks at the Brazil-Argentina Border, focuses on the environmental history of the border between Brazil and Argentina in the twentieth century, and the creation of the two national parks of Iguaçu (in Brazil) and Iguazú (in Argentina) in the 1930s. The book was produced with the generous support of a National Endownment for the Humanities Fellowship. The book was the winner of the Warren Dean Memorial Prize (Conference on Latin American History) as the most significant work on the history of Brazil, received an honorable mention in the Bryce Wood Book Award (Latin American Studies Association) as an outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English, and an honorable mention in the Sérgio Buarque de Holanda Prize (Latin American Studies Association’s Brazil Section) for the best book in the social sciences on Brazil.

I also published Big Water: The Making of the Borderlands Between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, co-edited with Jacob Blanc (University of Arizona Press, 2018).

My next book investigates the environmental history of Brazil’s modernist capital, Brasília, built in the late 1950s in the high savanna at the center of the country.

During my graduate training at Stanford I worked with Zephyr Frank at the Spatial History Laboratory. You can see some of the work I have done at the lab, as well as other past academic scholarship, here.

You can reach me at freitas.history@gmail.com

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