Spring of 2016

Dear Rotarians,

When I last wrote to you the bombings at the Brussels airport had just happened. It’s been three months now and I would like to update you on how my spring semester went and how things are going.


This past semester I took three classes (Security and Liberties, Political Strategy, and Gender and Conflict) and audited a couple others in International Migration. Things were busy from the get go. I came back from winter break the day classes started, and landed an hour before my first class. That gave me just enough time to go from the airport to school and start the new semester.


In March I flew back to the Minnesota for a week and got married (and got back to Brussels an hour before my class, again). It was an action packed week: I got to see my family and friends; visit the Minneapolis South Rotary Club; organize the wedding; take cute photos; write my wedding vows, and exchange them.


On my way back to Brussels I landed an hour before my first class on Monday. Again, I made it to school on time. A couple weeks later I went on a field trip to Geneva to visit international organizations such as: International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), World Health Organization (WHO), The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Because International Migration is a newly found passion, this trip was particularly important to me and my studies.


In April I went to Palestine and Israel. I was there for 10 days visiting different cities, meeting with organizations, and speaking to the locals.

2016-04-22 005

When I came back to Brussels classes were almost over. I had to catch up on my reading and write my dissertations. I believe these were the most interesting papers I have written, and the best ones so far (and the grades will show). I am going to post the abstract or question for my papers here, and if you are interested in reading more, please contact me at mem29@kent.ac.uk.

  • PO930 Security and Liberties

Title: At the Bottom of the Hierarchy of Bare Life

Abstract: Once African American men transgress gender norms and traditional gender role ideologies, to then publicly self-identify as transsexual women, they are placed in the bottom of the citizenship hierarchy and are stripped of their rights. Three important questions will be answered in this essay: (1) how is the construction of gender hierarchies in the United States placing transsexual people at the bottom of the citizenship ladder, and consequently (2) how do transsexual African American Women become the homo sacer in America’s state of exception. (3) What are the consequences of the marginalization suffered by transsexual African American Women.

  • PO944 Gender and Conflict

Title: Sexual citizenship and the continuum of violence in Brazil

Question: How does the construction of gender hierarchies in Brazil places transgender people at the bottom of the citizenship ladder?

  • PO903 Political Strategy

Title: Strategic Interaction and Driver’s Licenses For All in Minnesota

Abstract: In this essay, I will examine how the collective bargaining process theoretically works in order to pass a piece of legislation, and compare that with a case study from 2015 in the United States. The essay will be divided into three parts: 1) identify and examine the actors, and lay out the rules of the game. 2) Given the model and assumptions, I will reflect on the observer’s implications of what should follow if all is true. 3) Predictions versus the outcome, and evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the model.

Right now I am still catching up on my readings, while I work on my final thesis proposal. In August I will be moving to Canterbury, England where I will be finishing my Masters in Political Strategy and Communication with International Migration thanks to the Minneapolis South Rotary Club, the Global Grant Committee, the 5950 Rotary District, and Rotary International.


Marcos Carvalho

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2 thoughts on “Spring of 2016

  1. Barb Dusek says:

    Wow! That’s a whole lotta work with a bunch of big words! I applaud your persistence in getting this degree completed. 👍🏻👏🏻 Anxious to see you again.

  2. Well done, all around, Marcos.

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