Aparecida Vilaça is Professor of Social Anthropology at the National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She is a researcher of the National Research Council (CNPq) and of the Rio de Janeiro State research foundation (Faperj) and has been a visiting professor at several institutions, including the University of Cambridge (UK), Bergen (Norway), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), Stanford, and the Universidad Autónoma de México.
Professor Vilaça has been working among the Wari’ Indigenous people in Southwestern Amazonia, Brazil since 1986. Her fieldwork was funded, among other sources, by the Wenner-Grenn Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, CNPq and Faperj. She has specialized in the study of socio-cultural changes among indigenous peoples, with an emphasis on conversion to Christianity and schooling. Her current research focuses on the school learning of science by Wari’ children and young people, with the aim of understanding the equivocations produced in the encounter between different ontologies, especially regarding the idea of nature.
Professor Vilaça is the author of Comendo como gente. Formas do canibalismo wari’ (second edition, Mauad Editora, 2017), Quem somos nós. Os Wari’ encontram os brancos (UFRJ editora, 2006), Strange Enemies. Indigenous Agency and Scenes of Encounters in Amazonia (Duke, 2010), Praying and Preying. Christianity in Indigenous Amazonia (California, 2016), Paletó and Me. Memories of my Indigenous Father (Stanford, 2021), and co-editor of Native Christians. Modes and Effects of Christianity among Indigenous Peoples of the Americas (with R. Wright, Ashgate, 2009), Science in the Forest, Science in the Past (with G.E.R. Lloyd, Hau Books/Chicago, 2020), and Science in the Forest, Science in the Past. Further Interdisciplinary Explorations (with W. McCarty and G.E.R. Lloyd, Routledge, 2022). Her most recent books are Ficções Amazônicas (co-authored with Francisco Gaspar, Todavia, 2022) and Of Jaguars and Butterflies (co-authored with G.E.R. Lloyd; Berghahn, 2023)