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Department of History


Helen B. Kampmann Marodin

Title: Graduate Student
PhD, Latin American History; MA, Public History, (Museums and Material Culture)
Department: History
College of Arts and Sciences
Headshot of Helen Marodin

Advisor: Matt Childs

Pronouns: she/her

Education: B.A. in Architecture and Urbanism (UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil) and M.A. in Art History (USC)

Bio: Helen Marodin is a Ph.D. student in Latin American History. Her primary research interests include interdisciplinary approaches that deal with food history, gender, sensory history, digital humanities, material culture, art, and architecture.

Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Salty, Bitter, and Sweet: Foodways, Intersectionality, and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Brazil,” investigates how three Brazilian commodities, namely sugar, coffee, and dried beef, shaped the construction of culinary traditions and a Brazilian identity in the process of nation-building. Stemming from conflicts of class, race, gender, and social status, the construction of a Brazilian cuisine takes place simultaneously with the transition from an old order to modernity. Labor relations, gender roles, and the shift from private to public food production and consumption are some of the aspects her research brings to the fore.

Her M.A. thesis, “Unlocking Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons,” explores the intellectual background of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Carceri d’Invenzione (Imaginary Prisons), arguing that the etchings are visual arguments for the debates with which the artist engaged. Piranesi wanted to prove the superiority of Rome over Greece in the so-called Greco-Roman controversy, a heated and popular eighteenth-century quarrel, using the illustrations of imaginary prisons to prove his points and criticize opponents.

Fields: Latin American History, Public History, with a concentration in Digital Humanities, Women and Gender Studies

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.