Lara is a Brazilian actress, dancer, and writer.
She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, with a minor in African and African American Diaspora Studies.
Her dissertation investigates how slavery in Brazil has been depicted in the literature and art of the Lusophone world and the United States.
Lara has published an award-winning article about the Brazilian Emi Bulhões, a female author from the 20th century that has been forgotten despite her enormous success among the public and press. Lara also holds a prize for best essayin which she creatively writes about the tensions of being a young Brazilian woman immigrant in the USA.
She is currently dedicating her time to GSAC (Graduate Student Advisory Committee), Grupo de Teatro VIDA, and the Black Brown and Beige Theater Troupe, exploring her playwriting skills.
During her master’s at IU, she researched the intersection of race and gender in Brazilian literature from the 19th and 20th centuries. She conducted an archival investigation at the National Library in Lisbon, Portugal, about the black Luso-Brazilian poet Gonçalves Crespo.
In addition to her research work, she has taught Spanish and Portuguese, besides working for Latino organizations to advocate for the Latinx community around her.
Her bachelor’s degree is in Portuguese Literature and Linguistics from the Universidade de Brasília (UnB), where she researched the literature of one of her favorite authors, Adriana Lisboa.
Lara taught Spanish for the first time twelve years ago, when she was 18. Since then, she has taught children, teenagers, seniors, and now, undergrads at IU. For the last two summers, she has taught Spanish literature and culture to Indiana high schoolers in Don Quixote’s city, Ciudad Real, in Spain, with the IUHPFL - Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages.
Lara was born in Franca, commonly referred to as "the city of shoes." This city is in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, where she spent the most beautiful years of her childhood. She misses her regular after-lunch coffee dates with her mom every day, but here in Bloomington, she is so happy to have many wonderful friends to grab coffee with.
Lara does her best to spread love, dance, and joy to the world around her.
Laís Lara Vanin
Doctoral Student, Portuguese