Carmen Alvaro Jarrin


close up of a faculty member, they are smiling at the camera

Sociology and Anthropology Department

Associate Professor 

Ph.D., Duke University

Fields: medical anthropology; science and technology studies; race, class and gender inequality in Latin America; queer theory; transgender studies

Office Phone: 508-793-2774
Office: Beaven 216
PO Box: 50A
Office Hours


Dr. Alvaro Jarrín’s first research project explored the political economy of beauty in Brazil and its relationship to an unprecedented growth in plastic surgery, particularly in public hospitals.  They are the author of The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil (University of California Press), which won the NECLAS Marysa Navarro Book Prize in 2018 and an honorable mention for the AFA Michelle Rosaldo Book Prize in 2019. The book examines how aesthetic hierarchies inform Brazilian body politics and play a central part in the production of racial, gender and class difference in that nation.

Jarrín’s second research project focuses on a new type of activism in Brazil that celebrates transfeminine and transmasculine subjectivities through the production of political art, including theater, spoken word, digital art, fashion, film, music and performance art. Known as artivismo [artivism], this form of activism purposely blurs the boundaries between art and politics in order to produce visceral reactions in the audience, and thus counter the politics of disgust of Brazil’s far right, which portrays LGBT identities as a threat to the nation. The defiant visibility of gender nonconforming activists, which Jarrín calls "visceral politics," demonstrates that affect is useful for both sides of the political aisle as they make claims of who should get access to citizenship. 

Prof. Jarrín teaches courses on medical anthropology, gender and sexuality, the cyborg self, inequality in Latin America, global queer activism, and racial justice. 

Recent Publications

  • Forthcoming in 2021. Alvaro Jarrín and Chiara Pussetti, eds. Remaking the Human: Cosmetic Technologies of Body Repair, Reshaping and Replacement. New York: Berghahn Books.
  • Forthcoming in 2021. Benjamin Juge, Sean Mitchell, Alvaro Jarrín and Lucia Cantero, eds. Precarious Democracy: Ethnographies of Hope, Despair and Resistance in Brazil.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
  • 2020. “Beauty in Latin America.” Oxford Bibliographies in “Latin American Studies.” Ed. Ben Vinson.  New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2020.  “ ‘They are Mar-ve-lous, and They All Want me!’: Gay Brazilian Tourists and Global Geographies of Desire.” Co-written with Bryan Pitts. Sexualities 23 (8): 1499-1517.
  • 2017.  The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil.  Berkeley: University of California Press. 
  • 2016. “Untranslatable Subjects: Travesti Access to Public Healthcare in Brazil.” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 3 (3-4): 357-375.


  • ANTH 255 - Genders and Sexualities in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 299 - The Cyborg Self
  • ANTH 320 - Theory in Anthropology
  • ANTH 351 - The Anthropology of Biotechnology