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Lehman College

Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies

Faculty - Mila Burns

Mila BurnsE-mail Address:
Rank: Assistant Professor 
Degrees and Sources of Degrees: B.A., Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; M.A., Columbia University and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro; Ph.D., The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Academic Interests:

  • History of Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Authoritarianism 
  • Gender Studies
  • Journalism 


Professor Mila Burns current research is on the Brazilian influence on the Chilean 1973 coup d'état. Based on recently declassified documents from Brazilian and Chilean archives, she looks at how the Brazilian government, diplomats, and exiles perceived Salvador Allende's "road to socialism" and acted to impact it.

She is also working on the book Sorriso Negro (Bloombsbury Academic, 2019) which looks at Dona Ivone Lara's album to ask larger questions on feminist and black movements in the early 1980s Brazil. At the time, the country's long-lasting dictatorship was coming to an end and the Brazilian samba composer, a black woman, called for change in her lyrics. 

Professor Burns's interdisciplinary profile influences her research, with an emphasis on media, anthropology, and history. For almost two decades, she has been a prominent journalist in Brazil and New York. She is currently the anchor and editor-in-chief of Globo Notícia Américas, a newscast dedicated to the Latino community broadcast at TV Globo International.

Selected Publications

  • Sorriso Negro: Gender and Race in the Music of Dona Ivone Lara. New York: Bloomsbury
    Academic. (Under contract. Expected publication 2019).
  • Nasci Para Sonhar e Cantar. Dona Ivone Lara: a Mulher no Samba. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Record,
  • “Dictatorship Across Borders: The Brazilian Influence on the Overthrow of Salvador Allende,”
    Revista Estudios de Seguridad y Defensa, Departamento de Investigación de la Academia
    Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos de Chile, Number 3, July, 2014: 165-187.
  • “El Modelo Brasileño: la Influencia de Roberto Campos y Câmara Canto en la Dictadura
    Chilena,” Nuevo Mundo, Mundos Nuevos [Online], Debates, Online since 10 October 2016.
  • “Ditadura além da fronteira: A Influência Brasileira na Derrubada de Salvador Allende,”
    Revista História e Cultura, Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP. December
  • “A dona da voz e a voz da dona: a trajetória de Dona Ivone Lara” in: Velho, Gilberto (org.), Rio de
    Janeiro: cultura, política e conflito. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 2007: 108-127
  • “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?: The impact of Fidel Castro’s 1971 visit on Brazil and Chile
    Relations,” Instituto de Historia de Cuba. Havana, Cuba. Forthcoming