BRASA was formally launched during the 1992 Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Los Angeles, California. At that meeting some forty scholars came together and resolved to form an association that would both promote Brazilian Studies and continue to build strong links between those who study Brazil and other parts of Latin America. The First International Conference (BRASA I) was held in Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with LASA in March 1994. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, an Executive Committee elected, and a Secretariat designated at the University of New Mexico. Founding members Jon M. Tolman, Roberto Reis, and Edward A. Riedinger were elected as the Association’s first President and Vice-President, and Secretary, respectively. Since then BRASA has hosted the following conferences:

BRASA II hosted by University of Minnesota, May 11-13, 1995
BRASA III hosted by King’s College, Cambridge University, September 7-10, 1996
BRASA IV in Washington, D.C. November 12-15, 1997
BRASA V in Recife, Pernambuco, June 18-21, 2000
BRASA VI in Atlanta, Georgia, April 3-5, 2002
BRASA VII hosted by Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, June 9-12, 2004.
BRASA VIII hosted by Vanderbilt University, October 13-16, 2006
BRASA IX hosted by Tulane University, March 27-29, 2008
BRASA X in Brasília, 22-24 July, 2010
BRASA XI hosted by University of Illinois, September 6-8, 2012.
BRASA XII hosted by King’s College London, August 20-23, 2014
BRASA XIII hosted by Brown University, March 31 – April 2, 2016
BRASA XIV hosted by Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, July 25-28, 2018
BRASA XV hosted by the University of Texas-Austin, March 26-28, 2020 (meeting cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic)
BRASA XVI hosted by Georgetown University, March 10-12, 2022 (virtual format)
BRASA XVII hosted by San Diego State University, April 3-6, 2024

Past Presidents of BRASA

Sidney Chalhoub
Harvard University

Marcelo Paixão
University of Texas at Austin

Gladys Mitchell-Walthour
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Bryan McCann
Georgetown University

Anthony Pereira
King’s College London

Jan Hoffman French
University of Richmond


Randal Johnson
University of California Los Angeles

Peggy Sharpe
Florida State University

Kenneth P. Serbin
University of San Diego

Timothy J. Power
St. Cross College, University of Oxford 2004-2006

James N. Green
Brown University

Susan Quinlan
University of Georgia

Dain Borges
University of Chicago

Elizabeth Kuznesof
University of Kansas

Jon M. Tolman
University of New Mexico

BRASA Executive Directors

  • Christopher J. Dunn, Tulane University (2020-2026)
  • James Green, Brown University (2015-2020)
  • Mary Arends-Kuenning, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2011-15)
  • Marshall Eakin, Vanderbilt University (2004-2011)
  • Jon M. Tolman, University of New Mexico (1994-2004)