João Biehl

Professor of Anthropology
Director of the Brazil LAB
Associate Faculty, High Meadows Environmental Institute
Office Phone
128 Aaron Burr Hall
  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology
  • Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Religion



João Biehl is the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Brazil LAB (Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies) at Princeton University. Biehl is the author of the ward-winning books Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment and Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival. He is also the co-author of the volumes Unfinished: The Anthropology of Becoming, When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health, and Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations. At the Brazil LAB, Biehl is leading a multi-disciplinary academic partnership with Brazil’s Museu Nacional, focusing on indigeneity and perspectivism, Amazonian poetics, and the anthropology of the home. He is also helping to curate Captured + Escaped, a digital platform of storied images of different phases of the institution of slavery in Brazil. Though the Amazonian Leapfrogging project, Biehl is chronicling multi-stakeholders’ efforts to articulate an alternative vision for the Amazonian basin, which is threatened by illegal deforestation, fires, and socioeconomic inequality. 

Selected Publications