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Pedro Rabelo Erber

Associate Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies

Klarman Hall, Room K265


Pedro Erber is the author of Breaching the Frame: The Rise of Contemporary Art in Brazil and Japan (University of California Press, 2014), Política e Verdade no Pensamento de Martin Heidegger (P.U.C.-Rio/Loyola, 2003), and numerous articles on political thought, Brazilian and Japanese art, literature, and aesthetics. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University (2009), M.A. from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2000), and B.A. from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1998). He is a graduate field member in Romance Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies, and Comparative Literature. His principal research interests include Brazilian and Japanese intellectual history, literature, and visual cultures; peripheral modernisms; Lusophone literature and culture; articulations of humanistic enquiry and economic theory. At Cornell, he teaches courses on Brazilian critical theories, Aesthetic Economies, Transatlantic Lusophone literatures, Brazilian visual arts and cinema, aesthetic theory, and core courses on Brazilian studies.


  • Romance Studies

Graduate Fields

  • Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture
  • Asian Religions
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Literature
  • Latin American Studies
  • Romance Studies


  • Brazilian intellectual history, literature, and visual culture
  • Theories and histories of modernism; art and politics
  • 20th-century Japanese intellectual history, literature, and art
  • Critical theory and political thought
  • Articulations of humanistic enquiry and economic theory




  • The Contemporary as Method: Chronopolitics, Globalization, Comparison (in preparation).
  • Breaching the Frame: The Rise of Contemporary Art in Brazil and Japan. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.
  • Política e verdade no pensamento de Martin Heidegger. São Paulo: Editora P.U.C.–Rio/Edições Loyola, 2003.

Recent Journal Articles

  • “The Aesthetics of Speculation” in Revista Hispánica Moderna (forthcoming).
  • “The Politics of Strolling.” Latin American Perspectives (May 2016). (Awarded Mention of Honor by LASA-Brazil Section, 2016)
  • “Contemporaneity and its Discontents” in Diacritics 41.1 (September 2013).
  • “Gutai and Brazilian Concrete Art” in Gutai: Splendid Playground. Exhibition Catalogue. Guggenheim Museum, 2013
  • “Art and/or Revolution: The Discourse of Painting in 1950s Japan” in ARTMargins v. 2.1, February 2013.
  • “The Word as Object: Concrete Poetry, Ideogram, and the Materialization of Language” in Luso-Brazilian Review v. 49, n. 2, December 2012.

Recent Articles in books and exhibition catalogues / book chapters

  • “O Espaço Cósmico de Yutaka Toyota / The Cosmic Space of Yutaka Toyota” in Yutaka Toyota (artist catalogue). Text by Pedro Erber (forthcoming December 2017).
  • “The Contemporary in Performance” in The Emergence of the Contemporary: Avant-garde Art in Japan 1950-1970 / A Emergência do Contemporâneo: Vanguarda no Japão: 1950-1970. Exhibition Catalogue. Bilingual edition (English-Portuguese), 2017.
  • “Out of Words: The Spacetime of Concrete Poetry” in Postwar: Between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Exhibition Catalogue, 2016.
  • “Crise da crítica e economia do espetáculo” in Literatura e artes na crítica contemporânea. Ed. Heidrun Krieger Olinto; Karl Erik Schollhammer, Mariana Simoni. Rio de Janeiro: Editora PUC-Rio, 2016, 275-281.
  • “A busca do concreto” [The Search for Concreteness] in Artevida. Exhibition Catalogue (forthcoming).
  • “Arte e crítica, crítica de arte, arte-crítica” [Art and Criticism, Critique of Art, Artcritique] in Diálogos Transdisciplinares: Arte e Pesquisa. Ed. Gilbertto Prado, Monica Tavares, and Priscila Arantes. São Paulo: Escola de Comunicação e Artes – USP, 2016, 454-465.
  • “O medo do contemporâneo revisitado: arte e contemporaneidade” [The fear of contemporaneity revisited; art and contemporaneity] in Espaços do Afeto. Ed. Heidrun Krieger Olinto and Karl Erik Schollhammer. Rio de Janeiro: 7 Letras, 2015.
  • “A moda e o medo do contemporâneo” [The fashion and the fear of contemporaneity] in Cenários contemporâneos da escrita. Ed. Heidrun Krieger Olinto and Karl Erik Schollhammer. Rio de Janeiro: 7 Letras, 2014, 83-95.
  • “Gutai and Brazilian Concrete Art,” in Gutai: Splendid Playground. Exhibition Catalogue. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2013, 270-274.
  • “A comparação desmedida: teoria, universalismo, e estudos literários” [Comparison’s Dismeasure: Theory, Universalism, and Literary Studies] in Literatura e Criatividade Ed. Heidrun Krieger Olinto and Karl Erik Schollhammer. Rio de Janeiro: 7 Letras, 2012, 121-130.
  • “Die Politik der Abstraktion: Avantgardekunst, Kunstkritik und Zeitgenossenschaft in Japan und Brasilien während der 50er Jahre” [The Politics of Abstraction: Avant-Garde Art, Criticism, and Contemporaneity in 1950s Brazil and Japan] (revised and expanded version of “Políticas da Abstração: Pintura e Crítica no Brasil e Japão Anos 50”) in Kulturelle Übersetzungen [Cultural Translations]. Berlin: Reimer Verlag, 2012, 98-122.

Edited volumes and journal issues

  • Heidegger Today? Issue of Diacritics (with Facundo Vega) (in preparation).
  • Verge: Studies in Global Asias 3.2 “Between Asia and Latin America: New Perspectives in Transpacific Studies” (with Andrea Bachner). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.


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