Ph.D., 1983 University of Texas at Austin
B.A., 1976 Smith College
Areas of Interest
- Rio de Janeiro
- Colonial Brazil
- Atlantic World
Research and Teaching
Alida Metcalf teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Latin American history. Her undergraduate courses include Brazil: Continuities and Changes, Latin American Perspectives, Rio de Janeiro: A Social and Architectural History, and the FWIS: Water and Cities. At the graduate level, she regularly offers seminars in the history of the Luso-Atlantic World, Brazil, and Colonial Latin America. She is accepting Ph.D. students interested in studying Rio de Janeiro through the imagineRio project. Metcalf directs the Dual Degree program between the history departments of Rice and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil, which allows highly talented graduate students to earn two Ph.Ds, one from Rice and one from UNICAMP. Metcalf’s most recent book is Mapping an Atlantic World (2020), and her current research focuses on the history of water in Rio de Janeiro.
Metcalf welcomes inquiries from undergraduates interested in independent research projects for a summer- or semester-long project, or for a year-long History honors thesis, Mellon Mays, or Rice Undergraduate Scholars Program (RUSP) thesis. She welcomes undergraduate and graduate students as Research Assistants.
A recent interview with Metcalf about her most recent book can be found here.
- "A mere gutter!" The Carioca Aqueduct and Water Delivery in Mid-nimeteenth-century Rio de Janeiro," with Sean Morey Smith and S. Wright Kennedy.
- "Mapping the Maracanã Aqueduct: Reconstructing the Route of Rio de Janeiro's Second Major Aqueduct," with Sean Morey Smith.
- "Who Cares Who Made the Map? La Carta del Cantino and its Anonymous Maker"
- "Water and Social Space: Using georeferenced maps and geocoded images to enrich the history of Rio de Janeiro's fountains," e-Perimetron, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2014 [129-145]
- "Harvesting Souls': The Society of Jesus and the first Aldeias (Mission Villages) of Bahia," in Native Brazil: Beyond the Convert and the Cannibal, 1500-1900, 29-61. Ed. Hal Langfur. Albuquerque: The University New Mexico Press, 2014.
ESRI Story Maps:
- Jean de Léry in the Guanabara Bay
- Seeking the Carioca Aqueduct / Em busca do aqueduto da Carioca
- Henriqueta's Day on the Streets / O cotidiano de Henriqueta nas ruas do Rio de Janeiro with Sandra Lauderdale Graham
- Rio de Janeiro in the Time of the King / Era no tempo do rei with students in HIST/LASR 251
- Covid-19 in Brazil with students in HIST/LASR 251
- Rio de Janeiro: A Colonial City until 1850 / Rio de Janeiro: uma cidadade colonial até 1850 by Mary C. Karasch with Bruno Sousa and Lívia Tiede
- Mapping an Atlantic World, circa 1500. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.
- The Return of Hans Staden: A Go-between in the Atlantic World, with Eve M. Duffy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
- Go-Betweens and the Colonization of Brazil, 1500-1600. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2005. Awarded the Roberto Reis Prize for the Best Book in Brazilian Studies in 2005, Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), 2006.
- Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil: Santana de Parnaíba, 1580-1822. Second Edition. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2005. First Edition: Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1992. Awarded Honorable Mention for the Bolton Prize for the Best Book in Latin American History in 1992, The Conference on Latin American History (CLAH), 1994.