Dr. Jeffrey Lesser

Dr. Jeffrey Lesser is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Brazilian Studies and Chair of the Department of History at Emory University. His newest book, Immigration, Ethnicity and National Identity in Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2013) examines the immigration to Brazil of millions of Europeans, Asians, and Middle Easterners beginning in the nineteenth century. Dr. Lesser holds BA and MA degrees from Brown University and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the author of numerous prize-winning books including A Discontented Diaspora: Japanese-Brazilians and the Meanings of Ethnic Militancy (Duke University Press, 2007), Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (Duke University Press, 1990) and Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question (University of California Press, 1994). All of his books have Brazilian editions in Portuguese.Dr. Lesser’s interests surround the construction of national identity, focusing on how minority groups understand their local, national, and diasporic space. He has held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Tel AvAviv University as well as visiting professorships at the University of São Paulo, the University of Campinas, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His research has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.