People / Faculty

João Nemi Neto

João Nemi Neto
Lecturer Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Address
    506 Casa Hispánica
    612, W 116th street
    New York, NY 10027
  • Office Hours
    Tuesdays, 1:00-2:30pm (or appointment by e-mail)
  • Phone
    (212) 854-5815
  • Fax
    (212) 854-5322
  • Email


João received his B.A. in English and Portuguese Languages and Literatures and his M.A. in Education - Teaching of Portuguese and PFL at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. He also earned an M. Phil in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Languages and Literatures at the GC/CUNY and holds a PhD with an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Lesbian/Gay/Queer Studies at the Graduate Center/ CUNY. His dissertation is titled "Anthropophagic Queer: A Study on Abjected Bodies and Brazilian Queer Theory." His research focuses on Queer Theory(ies) in Latin America and contemporary literature in Portuguese and Spanish and Queer Pedagogy. Before joining the department, he taught at Hunter College in New York City and at the American School of São Paulo. João has taught Spanish, English and Portuguese as foreign languages in Brazil and in the United States.

Academic Statement

As a foreign language learner myself I consider vital to engage the students in an environment that allow them to relate to a historical, political and linguistic system that sometimes could be far from their reality. For that, I rely on the importance of having students participate in activities that are not only culturally and linguistically relevant but also intellectually challenging and rewarding for everybody involved in the learning process.

When one learns a foreign language, one is not only learning a set of syntactical and semantical rules. With the structure of the language, it is important to recognize the power one acquires when able to express oneself in another language. Curricular Topics should be presented in relevant manners to students, presented in a diverse set of ways, so students are able to engage themselves in different activities throughout the course. Teaching a language is beyond the grammar books and manuals. Teaching a language is exposing students to a different life style, to literature, poetry, music, politics, art and so on. By that, I don’t necessarily mean that a teacher should be an expert in every single area of knowledge, but should be able to acknowledge different interests and learning styles from the students, especially in higher education levels where students are preparing themselves for their future careers.

Along with the topics mentioned above, another important trait of my educational philosophy is the respect to the students as citizens of international communities. A classroom must be a safe place for everybody to express their ideas in a respectful manner. My teaching style tries to blend the students’ cultures while maintaining a respect for their individual characteristics. By listening carefully to the thoughts and concerns of others, a place of trust and respect is guaranteed and hence, learning is achieved.

Concluding, a language-based class should be a place of free communication, a space where students are comfortable enough to express themselves in the new language and also be able to understand more than grammatical rules, but also understand how important the studies of languages, literatures and cultures are important to one’s development as a student.