Loyola University Chicago

Department of Anthropology

Dr. Benjamin Penglase

Photos. Top: on a beach in Rio; Bottom: a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Associate Professor and Department Chair
Loyola University Chicago
Department of Anthropology 
Lake Shore Campus, BVM Tower 707
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, Illinois 60660
Personal website: http://bpenglase.com/

Ben Penglase received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2003. He is a cultural anthropologist with research experience in Brazil. His most recent research project, based on fieldwork with residents of a favela (or squatter neighborhood), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, analyzes how drug trafficking, police violence and inequality are reshaping Brazilian society. His research interests include race and gender in Brazil, the cultural effects of globalization and neoliberalism, urbanization, human rights and cultural relativism, and Latin American social movements. Dr. Penglase has a joint appointment in Anthropology and Latin American Studies.



2014   Living with Insecurity in a Brazilian Favela: Urban Violence and Daily Life.  Rutgers University Press.

Journal articles, book chapters and other publications:

2019   Tubarão and Seu Lázaro’s Dog: Spectacular and Banal Violence in a Brazilian Favela. Ethnography (Special Issue: Ethnographies and/of Violence in Latin American and the Caribbean) 20(3): 397-416.

2016   Pacifying the Empire of Love: Sport, Spectacle, Security in Rio de Janeiro. Brasiliana (Special Issue: Pacification, Violence, and Geographies of  Class and Race in Rio de Janeiro) 4(2): 254-282.

2016   An Oral History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: interview with Rolker Gracie. In The Rio de Janeiro Reader: History, Politics and Culture, Duke University Press.

2014   Brazilian Football as a Means of Reflecting Upon Brazilian Society. World Post.

2013   Invading the Favela: Echoes of Police Practices among Brazil's Urban Poor. In Policing and Contemporary Governance: The Anthropology of Police in Practice. William Garriott, ed. Palgrave Press.

2012   Review of Drug War Zone by Howard Campbell.  Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 17(2):373-375.

2011   Review of Ideologies of Marginality in Brazilian Hip-Hop by Derek Pardue. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 16(1): 223-225.

2011    Lost Bullets: Fetishes of Urban Violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Anthropological Quarterly 84(2): 411-438.

2010   The Owner of the Hill: Masculinity and Drug-Trafficker Power in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 15(2): 317-337.

2009   States of Insecurity: Everyday Emergencies, Public Secrets and Drug Trafficker Power in a Brazilian Favela. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 32(1): 407-423.

2009   Interview: The New Anthropology of Crime. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 32(1): 465-483 (with P. Parnell and S. Kane). 

2008   Review of Lucia: Testimonies of a Drug Dealer's Woman. The Luso-Brazilian Review 45(2): 205-208.

2008   The Bastard Child of the Dictatorship: The Comando Vermelho and the Birth of "Narco-Culture" in Rio de Janeiro. The Luso-Brazilian Review 45(1): 118-145.

2007    Barbarians on the Beach: Media Narratives of Violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Crime, Media and Culture 3(3): 305-325.

2005    The Shutdown of Rio de Janeiro: The Poetics of Drug Trafficker Violence. Anthropology Today, Vol. 21, (October) No. 5.


ANTH 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 203: Violence, Social Suffering, and Justice

ANTH 211: Peoples of Latin America

ANTH 224: Social Movements, Culture, and Activism

ANTH 305: Violence and Culture

ANTH 306: Anthropology and Human Rights

ANTH 307: The Human Body in Cultural Perspective

LASP 101: Introduction to Latin American Studies

LASP 396: Human Rights in Latin America