Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Geri Augusto

Geri Augusto

+1 401 863 9068
Watson 204

Downloadable CV

Geri Augusto

Gerard Visiting Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs and Africana Studies

Areas of Interest: Local/indigenous knowledge systems, colonial sciences, environmental studies, and the politics of knowledge in Africa and the African Diaspora, Science and technology policy and national systems of innovation in the Global South, Black transnationalism and history of black resistance (USA, Africa, Brazil), Transformation of higher education systems, Communities-of-practice, epistemologies of practice, and organizational cultures, International development in Eastern and Southern Africa.


Geri Augusto is visiting associate professor of International & Public Affairs and Africana Studies, visiting fellow at the Institute at Brown for Environmental Studies (IBES), and also teaches in the Science and Society Program.  A Watson Faculty Fellow, Augusto is currently part of Watson's Brazil Initiative. She earned her BA in economics from Howard University, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and Ed.D. from The George Washington University.

For three years she co-convened the Critical Global Humanities Institute of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), and in 2013 and 2014, co-convened the engineering and society BIARI, Connections and Flows: Water Energy and Digital Information.  From 1994 to 2002, Augusto taught full-time at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Recently, Augusto created a research-based seed assemblage and slave garden at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown, a new visual turn to her work on indigenous knowledges and knowledges of the enslaved. In Brazil, she collaborates with the Steve Biko Cultural and Educational Institute, where she helped establish and taught in the Kwetu Leadership Institute for black and women's social movements in the northeast region of Brazil, as well as with the Center for Study of Afro- and Indigenous Peoples-CEPAIA at the State University of Bahia-UNEB. As a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil 2013-2014, Augusto researched how some quilombola (maroon) communities and institutions in Bahia state are using, thinking about, and resignifying new digital media, and continues to collaborate with the Escola das Águas of the Artisanal Fisher Movement (MPP-Bahia) in Bahia state.  She is also on the board of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Legacy Project, where she co-chairs the New Works Working Group, serves on the Editorial Board for the SNCC Digital Gateway, in partnership with Duke University (http://onevotesncc.org/about/one-person-one-vote-project/), and has a particular interest in how the US southern freedom struggle/civil rights organization influenced international policy and affairs in the 1960s and 1970s.

From 1973 to 1991, Augusto worked in southern Africa as a book editor (Tanzania) and as a project economist and technical editor for the Southern African Development Community-SADC Energy Sector Technical Unit in Angola. She also worked as a Portuguese/English translator for a variety of ministerial, Frontline states, and United Nations meetings in southern Africa and Europe. Since 1994, Augusto has collaborated on numerous public policy projects in the South African science and technology, higher education, and indigenous knowledge sectors, including the National Commission of Higher Education; the System-wide Review of Science, Engineering and Technology Institutions; and the First National Workshop on Indigenous Knowledge Systems.


Augusto’s current research and book projects include:

  • A chapter on the Brazilian anti-apartheid movement for the South African global oral history series “The Road to Democracy”.
  • Book project Sentient Quilombos: “People of the Waters,” Digitality, and Social Justice in Bahian Traditional Fishing Communities.
  • Several articles further developing the interdisciplinary themes in the visual essay/installation she created for Brown’s Center for Study of Slavery and Justice, in the form of a symbolic slave garden and a seed assemblage “Plants of Bondage/Liberation Flora”.


“E lá vou eu”: Brazil’s Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1974-1994. In Road to Democracy in South Africa, Volume 4, International Solidarity, South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET) Pretoria: UNISA Publications, forthcoming 2016. Print.

Transnacionalismo Negro: A Encruzilhada de Amefrican@s. Revista Educação e Contemporaneidade (FAEEBA), Universidade do Estado da Bahia-UNEB, April 2016. Print.

"Plants of Bondage, Liberation Flora and Colonial Sciences - Reflections for STS.” In Chakanetsa Mavhunga (Ed.), What Do Science, Technology, Innovation Mean from Africa? Cambridge: MIT Press, forthcoming. Print.

“Language Should Not Keep Us Apart!: Reflections Towards a Black Transnational Praxis of Translation.” Callaloo. Summer 2014 37.3. Print and Online.

“Root Cause”: Slavery management, black criminalization and imprisonment-instead-of-education as mechanisms of inequality, Crítica e Sociedade, Universidade Federal de Uberlandia, Minas Gerais. Crítica e Sociedade: revista de cultura política. v. 4, n.1, Dossiê: Relações Raciais e Diversidade Cultural, jul. 2014. Print.

“ ‘A World Only Partly Named’: Knowledge of Plants for Therapeutic Interventions in the Early Cape Colony Among the Free and Unfree.” Freedom: Retrospective and Prospective. Ed. Wilmot Swithin. Kingston: Ian Randle, 2009.


• Environmental Policy from the Ground Up

• Black Transnationalism

• Science and Technology Policy in the Global South

• Cross-Knowledges: Contemporary Indigenous Knowledges and the Sciences

• Organizations and Policymaking

• Transformação do Ensino Superior em Sociedades Pluralistas (Universidade Estadual da Bahia-Cepaia/State University of Bahia Center for Study of Afro and Indigenous Peoples)

• Conhecimentos Indigenas, Ciencias Coloniais e Conhecimentos dos Escravizados (Universidade Estadual da Bahia-Cepaia/State University of Bahia Center for Study of Afro and Indigenous Peoples)

Talks & Media