B.A. University of Virginia, 1994
M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
Current Research and Teaching
Professor De Barros's research centers on the politics of embodied subjectivity and specifically examines how Renaissance thinkers confronted the theoretical tension between the body and discourse to work through the period's most pressing concerns. His main book project, "The Labors of Hercules: Embodied Learning and Male Domestication in Renaissance Literature and Culture," argues that it was through an attention to children's embodiment that educational theorists and literary figures developed key strategies for sublimating the traditional male-defining violence of the knight-warrior ethos. He is also at work on a collection of essays tentatively entitled "Ignoble Lies: Experiential Readings of the Renaissance." More meta-critical in nature, this project draws on Curriculum Theory as well as the African American autobiographical tradition to illustrate how identity—his identity as an African-descended Renaissance scholar from the South Bronx—legitimately and ethically informs the analytical process. As these projects suggest, his teaching interests are broad. Over an eighteen-year period, he has taught a range of courses including "The Politics of Shakespearean Expression," "Shakespeare and the Pedagogy of Sexual Violence," "Epic Masculinities: From Homer to Milton," "Autobiographies of Black Masculinity," "Literature, Subjectivity, and the 'Age of Discovery'," and, most recently, "Stuck on Stupid: Early Modern Education and the Enduring Problem of Anti-Intellectualism." However, no matter the course topic, Professor De Barros's core pedagogical goal is to help his students begin or continue their development as serious and sophisticated interpreters of the past and the present and, in turn, ethically oriented shapers of the future.