David C. Thompson is a Research Fellow in the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University. He received a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2020. Thompson’s research examines prisons and incarceration in Brazil, with a particular focus on Rio de Janeiro. This work draws on ethnographic methods to bring into focus the horizons of punishment—that is, the futures that are made and unmade within an expanding penal landscape. His current project turns towards Brazil’s interfaith “decarceration” movement—the coalition of activists, NGOs, and religious groups who work to eliminate mass incarceration and address its harms. Through an ethnographic study of the movement, the project will consider how religion serves as both an animating force and a central point of conflict, as Catholics, evangelicals, Afro-Brazilian religious leaders, and secular activists all struggle to articulate new visions of justice for Brazil.

Award Information

Religion, Spirituality, and Democratic Renewal Program 2023
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Simon Fraser University
Break the Chain: An Ethnography of Brazil's Interfaith Decarceration Movement