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Adriana Cursino

About me

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, surrounded and inspired by art and music from a young age, thanks to my grandmother’s book collection and father’s love for jazz. It seems like these early experiences sparked my combined passion for history and images. After graduating in history, I pursued a master’s degree in image technology, and then went on to teach, publish textbooks on the history of cinema and work in film as a documentary researcher and director. My hobbies mirror my work, so I spend most of my spare time taking photographs, reading books and watching films, or listening to jazz, samba, funk and bossa nova music.

A picture is worth a thousand words

A constant curiosity and eye for imagery has led Professor Adriana Cursino down a path of professional achievement and towards building future generations of powerful creators in the classroom. Seeing the intrinsic connection between images and culture, Adriana has built a career from bringing history to life through film, and introducing Portuguese language and Brazilian culture to her students. Ultimately, she knows the importance of bringing human touch to life through her work, and inspiring her students to find it in themselves and their own creativity.

After completing her master’s degree in Brazil, Adriana dove headfirst into filmmaking. Her first award-winning human-rights film, “Condition of Drought,” went on to be incorporated into a collection of the Ministry of Culture of Brazil. This experience propelled Adriana to study archival images and their relationship with memory, history, culture and language for her doctorate, which brought her to Madrid.

She then went on to complete a postdoc, which focused on personal documents in first person. At universities across Brazil, Adriana cultivated a love for teaching and exchanging information with her students, which she brought across the pond to Spain. Her belief that her students can teach her as much as she can teach them makes her so successful in her field.

Before beginning to teach at IE University in the Language Center, she completed her doctorate and post-doctorate at the University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), where she also acted as a guest professor. At IE University, where she spends most of her time now, Adriana brings the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture to her students, along with their intersections with gender, cinema and politics. Adriana is also working on building specialized courses for directors and screenwriters at Darcy Ribeiro Film School.

Adriana refers to herself as “a restless professional,” crediting much of her personal and professional success to the incredible teaching-learning environment fostered by IE University. The atmosphere drives her to deliver quality knowledge and experiences to promote her students’ curiosity and interest. For her, the most exciting part of being a teacher is seeing her students excel and discover their own passions. She’s had several of her students go on to study in Brazil after their first contact with the culture through her Portuguese classes.

Part of having great success is doing what you love, something Adriana knows as fact from her own personal experiences following her instincts. Combine that with human empathy and a deep appreciation for Planet Earth, and she’s certain you cannot go wrong.

Outside of the classroom, Professor Cursino focuses on writing articles on topics related to her interests, creating documentary films, participating in conferences and organizing film screenings. Of course, her personal life is never far away from the original passions she discovered as a 10-year-old girl perusing her grandmother’s book shelves.

"The classroom is a powerful space for the production of knowledge, where we give wings to curiosity."
Adriana Cursino