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Architecture PhD student awarded Oppenheimer Scholarship

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Doriane Andrade Meyer received an Oppenheimer Scholarship, which will allow her to travel to Brazil for her work studying the relationship between enslaved Africans’ behavior and the architecture of sugarcane plantations in the colonial time.

Meyer said that her research will show that these plantations were designed to control enslaved people, and they were the roots of inequality still perpetuated in Brazil. 

“Social inequality is the biggest problem in Brazil,” Meyer said. “There is also lack of knowledge of the reasons the Afro-descendants still suffer with it. The region studied, the Bahian Recôncavo, received about 2 million Africans to work in the sugarcane plantations as slaves. Therefore, those plantations played a major role in the contribution for this inequality because they provoked racial and social segregation and discrimination.”

Meyer will travel to Brazil for six weeks to conduct her research; she’ll be working with archival materials and analyzing the sites.

“The Oppenheimer Scholarship will enable me to visit the sites of the plantations and to research in the Brazilian archives,” Meyer said. “I need this material to analyze the structure of the old plantations and develop my Ph.D. dissertation.”

While in Brazil, she will visit Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo to interview Rafael Marquese, a local historian specialized in plantations. She will also be visiting other various small cities where plantations are located.

The Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Scholarship was established to commemorate Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, a former professor of Latin American history. It’s given to given during alternating years in awards up to $3,000 to graduate students within Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

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