I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where I completed a B.A. in Philosophy at the University of São Paulo while working as a translator and interpreter. During my B.A. I developed an interest in the history and anthropology of Africa and started to read about Angola and study the Umbundu language. 

As I looked for books in Umbundu at the university library, I was surprised by the equivalences established in missionary  translations from Umbundu into Portuguese and vice-versa. In my M.A. in Social Anthropology pursued at the State University of Campinas, I investigated the process through which conceptual and ritual equivalences were translated in Catholic missions in Central Angola. This research resulted in the book Deus é feiticeiro: prática e disputa nas missões católicas em Angola colonial (Annablume, 2010).

As I was writing my M.A., I was impressed by Jacques Derrida’s work on translation and Roy Wagner’s stance on culture as invention. My Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at the University of São Paulo proposed a dialogue between anthropology and deconstruction through a reading of Wagner  in dialogue with Derrida. My Ph.D, in which I analyse the work performed by the emic gesture as that which constitutes difference through the act of its naming, was published in Portuguese as Os nomes dos outros: etnografia e diferença em Roy Wagner (Humanitas, 2015) and in English as On the Emic Gesture: Difference and Ethnography in Roy Wagner (Routledge, 2019).

Over the past years I have been examining naming practices and their transformations, narratives of witchcraft and sorcery, translational processes in colonial and post-colonial Angola. I am especially interested in how experiences of subject constitution have been expressed in Umbundu. The manuscript This Has a Name: The Politics of Subject Constitution in Central Angola is in progress and I have recently published articles, book chapters, translations, and commentaries on these subjects (see academic cv and publications). 

I am currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon and Affiliated Professor at the Federal University of São Carlos, where I was Principal Investigator in the FAPESP-funded project “Processes of Subject Constitution in African Contexts: Differentiation, Iteration, Intersectionality” (2017-2020). I have held fellowships at ICI Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, the Federal University of São Carlos, the London School of Economics, the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, Columbia University, the University of São Paulo, and the State University of Campinas. My work has been funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), the Brazilian Council for Scientific Research (CNPq), ICI Berlin, the Berlin University Alliance (BUA), and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). 

I am also the proud mother of Barbara. Besides working, I enjoy spending time with friends, dancing, singing, jogging, and looking at beautiful landscapes. Freedom, justice, and pleasure are very important to me.