‘Elections and Insurrections: Attacks on Democracy in the U.S. and Brazil’ March 30

Stream the discussion here.


In partnership with the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies, the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy will host Brazilian historian and journalist Dr. Thiago Krause and former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Michael McKinley to discuss similarities between the Jan. 8 insurrection in Brazil this year and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. This in-person event will be held on Thursday, March 30, at 6 p.m. at Scarritt Bennett Center’s Laskey Great Hall. 

Register here to attend; a recording of the event will be made available afterward in English and Portuguese. Celso Castilho, director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies and associate professor in history, will moderate the conversation. 


On Jan. 8, 2023, hundreds of election-deniers stormed Brazil's Congress building, Supreme Court, and presidential palace following the defeat of Brazil’s then-president Jair Bolsonaro to demand he had won the election. While this event happened under its own circumstances and within a different context, it begs questions about parallels and connections with the U.S. Jan. 6 insurrection.  


Amid this hour-long event, Dr. Krause, Ambassador McKinley, and Dir. Castilho will explore what these two insurrections have in common, dispel misconceptions and help us all understand more clearly how interdependent, threatened, and resilient democracies are throughout our hemisphere.  


Read more about the speakers:


Dr. Thiago Krause is a Brazilian historian and journalist. He maintains an important public voice in Brazil, as a writer for the Folha de São Paulo, the Brazilian national paper of record. Dr. Krause is also a reference point for US-based discussions about Brazilian politics. 


Ambassador P. Michael McKinley (ret.) served as the US Ambassador to Peru (2007-2010), Colombia (2010-2013), Afghanistan (2014-2016), and Brazil (2017-2018). His final posting was as senior advisor to the Secretary of State in 2018-2019.  His earlier assignments included the United Kingdom, Mozambique, Uganda, Bolivia, and Belgium. Ambassador McKinley earned a doctorate from Oxford University in 1982 and is the author of an acclaimed study on colonial Venezuela. He joined The Cohen Group as a Senior Counselor after a 37-year career at the Department of State. 


Celso Thomas Castilho is the director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies and an associate professor in the Department of History. Castilho’s research focuses on the political, cultural, and intellectual histories of modern Latin America. He received his doctorate from UC Berkeley, where he began work on slavery and abolition in Brazil; other interests include the public sphere, literary culture, and Afro-diasporic thought.