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FELLOW 2024/2025Eduardo Altheman C. Santos

FELLOWSHIP TERM: 06/2024 – 02/2025

I am a post-doctoral fellow in Sociology at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil. I hold a Ph.D. (2018) and Master’s (for which I received the Best Master’s in Sociology Award of 2013) in Sociology from the same institution, in addition to a BA in Social Sciences (2010) also from USP.

I have held international affiliations at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (host: Thomas Lemke) and Duke University (host: Fredric Jameson).

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My work has appeared in Re-thinking Marxism, Cultural Dynamics, and Focus on German Studies, in addition to several Brazilian journals, such as Tempo Social, Caderno CRH, Ciências Sociais Unisinos, and Cadernos Metrópole. I am the co-editor of the Fall 2022 issue of Cultural Dynamics, “Neoliberalism in the Americas: Brutal experiments from the Global South.” I am also the co-editor of The Marcusean Mind (Routledge, 2024). In 2023, I received the Marielle Franco Prize from the International Herbert Marcuse Society.


I have also translated books and essays by Max Horkheimer, T. W. Adorno, Wendy Brown, and Thomas Lemke, among others, from German and English into Brazilian Portuguese.


My research interests include the Frankfurt School, critical theory (broadly construed), platform capitalism, Marxism, critical neoliberalism studies, ideology critique, and the work of Michel Foucault and Herbert Marcuse.

University profile page

Dreamed in California, nightmared in the Global South: Techno-utopias upside down

Focusing on Latin America (specifically Brazil), my project investigates the relationship between technology, labor, and the Apocalypse. I aim to understand how Northern utopian visions of a more rational and streamlined society are distorted in concrete Southern situations, often generating cataclysmic scenarios. To develop this theoretical argument, I will build on my empirical research with platform workers in São Paulo. Addressing the Apocalypse less as a future-situated turning point than a processual movement that has already begun, I will scrutinize how not-so-long-ago apocalyptic forecasts have become ubiquitous in everyday life in the last two decades: Non-stop surveillance, gendered and racialized biases, precarious labor relations, unsustainable mineral extraction, capital monopolization, data colonialism, and behavior manipulation hiding behind the façade of an allegedly neutral apparatus. I will explore two aftermath scenarios that emerge from this apocalyptic rupture. One depicts 99% of humanity shackled by daily life gamification, algorithm-managed toil, big-data-powered Artificial Intelligence, behavioral prediction, the depletion of the planet’s natural resources, and people becoming surplus population overnight. In contrast, the second outcome refers to the seeds of a new social ontology in which labor, exploitation, and spoliation are no longer the lines dividing lives between grievable and ungrievable, useful and expendable, opulent and precarious.