Latin American History

Three historians of Latin America offer opportunities for study in a variety of fields of Latin American history, both colonial and modern, with fields of specialization that include Spanish South America, Brazil, and Mexico, intellectual, legal, social, gender, and environmental history. Other faculty research fields include the history of slavery and the slave trade and the history of political violence. Graduate students take a variety of classes and directed readings with professors in Latin American history, but are also encouraged to take advantage of courses in other regions, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. In addition, students are encouraged to take courses offered by an extensive Latin Americanist faculty in other departments.

  • Herbert Tico Braun
    Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Latin American History, Colombia, Mexico, political culture and the search for social order, social hierarchies, historical narrative, the history of emotions. Publications: The Assassination of Gaitán: Public Life and Urban Violence in Colombia, 1986 (Mataron a Gaitán: Vida pública y violencia urbana en Colombia, 1987, 1994, 2008); Our Guerrillas, Our Sidewalks: A Journey into the Violence of Colombia, 1994, 2003 (El rescate: Diario de una negociación con la guerrilla (1998). Current research: A history of the emotional lives of urban and rural Colombians in la Violencia of the 1950s. 
  • Thomas Klubock
    The history of gender and sexuality, working-class history, and environmental history in twentieth-century Latin America, with a focus on modern Chile. Currently, I am finishing up a book that brings together the approaches and methodologies of social and environmental history to examine the history of Chile's native temperate rain forests. This book examines the environmental history of the rain forest as linked to the process of modern state formation, the history of the frontier, conflicts over land and labor, and the politics of nationalism, citizenship, and ethnicity. Representative publications: Contested Communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile's El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951 (Duke University Press, 1998); La Frontera: Land, Labor, and Ecological Change in Chile's Temperate Rainforests (under contract, Duke University Press).
  • Brian Owensby
    As part of my continuing thinking about the epistemological and theoretical issues of doing history in Latin America, I am writing a series of articles on Sérgio Buarque de Holanda's ground-breaking Raizes do Brasil (1936). My next book-length project will be a reflection on the Jesuit project among indigenous peoples in Spanish and Portuguese South America during the period up to the expulsion of the Society in the 1760s. I see this as a way to ask broad questions about the relationship between the European Enlightenment and Latin America's dilemmas and development in a period of formative modernity. Having written two books probing fundamental tropes of modernity—the “middle class” and the “rule of law”—I see these current projects as raising critical questions regarding the dilemmas and possibilities of historical thinking in Latin America.

» Graduate Students

  • Anne M. Daniels
    My research interests include the history of immigration, technologies, and education in relation to discourses of modernity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My dissertation, "Growing Up in the Land of the Future: Youth Culture and Politics in Brazil," traces the changing role of youth in the Brazilian social imaginary amid transnational intellectual currents and domestic politico-economic transformations, from the rise of eugenics in the Old Republic to the student movements of the 1970s.
  • Mary Hicks
  • Chris Cornelius
  • Kimberly Hursh


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904



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