Fabio Santos

Tandem Visiting Fellow

Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington
Institute of European Studies | University of California, Berkeley | 202 Philosophy Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720-2316


Biographical Summary

Fabio Santos is a sociologist with an interdisciplinary profile. His research interests include social inequalities, mobility, and migration, belonging and conviviality, as well as the history and present of colonialism. He currently is a Tandem Fellow in the History of Migration Fellowship Program at the GHI’s Pacific Office with a joint appointment at the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley. He studied European Ethnology as well as Cultural Theory and History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin before receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from the same institution. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Fabio worked as an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and was a Visiting Professor in International Development at the University of Vienna and in Brazilian and Global Studies at Aarhus University. His first book, “Bridging Fluid Borders: Entanglements in the French-Brazilian Borderland”, examines social change and the negotiation of border demarcations and belongings in a rarely studied borderland at the fringes of the Amazon rainforest.

Fabio is dedicating his fellowship in Berkeley to a larger unified research program focused on fugitive freedoms and multidirectional mobilities in the Caribbean, consisting of two lines of inquiry. The first connects a range of archival sources and ethnographic material to retrieve the outsourcing of – and resistance against – refugee detention and deportation, a strategy employed by the US government in its colony, Puerto Rico, at the height of the so-called Haitian Refugee Crisis in the early 1980s. The second explores the connection between faith, fugitivity, and freedom, tracing the history of San Mateo de Cangrejos, a spiritual sanctuary for maritime refugees in Puerto Rico.

Main Areas of Interest

  • Global Histories and Sociologies
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Historical Sociology
  • Inequality and Intersectionality
  • Colonialism and Postcolonialism
  • Social Theory
  • Ethnography