Leonora Souza Paula


C706 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyEnglishGlobal Studies in Arts and Humanities

Assistant Professor
Literary Studies; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Race and Ethnic Studies; Global and Diasporic Studies


Leonora Souza Paula specializes in Literary Studies and Latin American Studies, with a focus on intersections of race, gender, urban culture, and memory in contemporary Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Diasporic culture. Her current research examines the role of Black spatial imagination in the process of claiming literature and culture as a form of heritage recovery and epistemic reparation.

An American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellow and public humanities scholar, Dr. Paula is a co-leader at the Kilomba Collective of Black Brazilian Women in the US and is the co-founder of the Sister Circle Mentoring Program for Women of Color.

Media Mentions

Awards and Honors


“Um gesto de afronta.” Afterword in Quantas Tantas. Mel Adún. Salvador: Ogum’s Toques, p.137-146. 2021

“Afro-Ancestralidade and the Construction of Urban Memory in Conceição Evaristo’s Becos da Memória.” Brasil/Brazil Journal of Brazilian Literature. N. 63, Vol. 33, p.194-210. 2020

“Pixação and the Production of Spatial Justice by the Urban Excluded.” Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies. Vol. 22, p. 151-163. 2018

“Pixação in São Paulo: Subverting the Lettered City.” In: Tambling J. (ed.) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2018

“Literatura Periférica: Challenging São Paulo’s Cultural Segregation.” The International Journal of the Constructed Environment. Vol. 7 Issue 2:13-24. 2016

“Cultural Responses to Urban Violence in 21st Century Brazil: New Writers Speak from the Margins.” Hispanófila. 178.1: 67-79. 2016

“Crisis and Revolution: Activist Art in Neoliberal Buenos Aires.” Imprints of Revolution: Visual Representations of Resistance. Lisa Calvente and Guadalupe García (eds.) London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2016

“eles eram muitos cavalos: Challenging the Regulating Fiction of the Global City.” Romance Notes. 54.1: 95-102. 2014

University News

Research Recognized for Highlighting Black Women’s Contributions to History and Culture
Published March 21, 2024 in College of Arts & Letters
For Women’s History Month, Leonora Souza Paula’s work is being featured by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) in their Women’s History Resource List as a scholarly resource that…Read now »
International Advocacy for Racial Equity an Intrinsic Part of Professor’s Research and Teaching
Published December 19, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Leonora Souza Paula, Assistant Professor in MSU’s Department of English and affiliated faculty in the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities Program, Center for Latin American and Caribbean…Read now »