metcalf headshot


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.

Selected Articles

ESRI Story Maps:


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