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American Counterpoint:
New Approaches to Slavery and Abolition in Brazil

Gilder Lehrman Center's 12th Annual International Conference
October 29-30, 2010
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Co-Sponsored by the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies


Conference Participants


Angela Alonso
Angela Alonso is a professor in the Department of Sociology at University of São Paulo, a senior researcher at Cebrap (Brazilian Centre of Analysis and Planning), and a research fellow of the Brazilian National Council on Research (CNPq). She was a researcher at the Development Research Centre on Citizenship (University of Sussex, 2000-2010) and, during the 2009-10 academic year, a Visiting Fellow at the Council of Latin American Studies at Yale University, and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is author of Ideias em movimento: a geração 1870 na crise do Brasil-Império (Ideas in Movement: The 1870 Generation in the Crisis of the Brazil-Empire) (2002), awarded with the CNPq (Brazilian National Council of Research) and Anpocs (National Association of Social Sciences Researchers) prize for the best Ph.D. thesis in social sciences; and of Joaquim Nabuco: os salões e as ruas (Joaquim Nabuco; the salons and the streets) (2007), a biography of the main leader of the movement for the abolition of slavery in Brazil, selected as a top ten Brazilian biography of the year (Jabuti Prize short list) and as one of the top 51 literary books of the year (Brazil Portugal Telecom Prize of Literature). In addition, she has published articles on the Brazilian intellectual and political movements in Brazil. Currently, she works on a research on the Brazilian movement for the abolition of slavery.


Matthias Röhrig Assunção
Matthias Röhrig Assunção studied History and Latin American Studies in Paris and completed his PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin. From 1985 to 1992 he taught History at the Latin American Institute in Berlin before coming to Essex in 1993. His research deals with the history of slavery and post-emancipation society in Brazil, popular culture, and the martial arts of the Black Atlantic His publications include a history of plantation society in Maranhão, Northern Brazil (1993), and the oral history of a peasant and slave revolt in the same province (A Guerra dos Bem-te-vis, 2nd ed., 2008). His most recent book is Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art (2005). He also co-directed the documentary film Verses and Cudgels: Stick Playing in the Afro-Brazilian Culture of the Paraíba Valley, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009). His current research project explores the Angolan roots of capoeira and is funded by the AHRC (2010-13). For more information, go to http://www.essex.ac.uk/history/staff/rohrigassuncao.shtm


David W. Blight
David W. Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001), which received seven book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize as well as four awards from the Organization of American Historians, including the Merle Curti prizes for both intellectual and social history. He is also the author of a book of essays, Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); and Frederick Douglass's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (LSU Press, 1989). Blight participated closely in the discovery and bringing to light of two new slave narratives in 2004 and edited and introduced the book, with Harcourt Press, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation (2007). Blight has also been a consultant to several documentary films, including the 1998 PBS series, "Africans in America," and "The Reconstruction Era" (2004). Blight has a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has also taught at Harvard University, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown, Flint, Michigan.


Mariana P. Candido
Mariana P. Candido is Assistant professor in the History Department at Princeton University. Her research interests encompass the history of Angola, slavery and the slave trade, and the African diaspora. She is the author of articles published in African Economic History, Slavery and Abolition and edited volumes. Her first book, Las redes de esclavitud en un puerto del Atlantico Sur: Comercio e Identidad en Benguela,1780-1850 will be published by the El Colegio de Mexico Press. She is also the co-editor of Crossing Memories: Slavery and African Diaspora (Africa World Press) and Laços Atlânticos: África e o Brasil durante a era da Escravidão. Candido is preparing a book manuscript about the history of Benguela from the 17th to the 19th century. Candido has been a fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Emancipation, the John Carter Brown Library, Fundação Luso-Americana and the Carl A. Fields Center. She is also a network professor of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African People at York University, Canada, and is also a collaborator at the project Naus do Purgatório: escravidão e tráfíco atlântico hosted by the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil.


Roquinaldo Ferreira
Roquinaldo Ferreira is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His research interests include African history, the African Diaspora, and Atlantic History. He is finalizing a book on the social and cultural contexts of slaving in Angola from the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century. This book is entitled Atlantic Microhistory: Slaving, Transatlantic Linkages, and Cultural Exchange in Angola (ca. 1700-ca.1830) and will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Additional research includes the trading networks of the Indian textile trade (Carreira da India) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well trade and social relations between Africans and Europeans on the Mina Coast (Gold Coast and Bight of Benin) from mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century.


Keila Grinberg
Keila Grinberg is an Associate Professor at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO). She holds a PhD from Universidade Federal Fluminense and her work deals with Slavery and Legal History in the Atlantic World, especially in 19th century Brazil. Grinberg is the author of several books and articles, among them Slavery, Freedom and the Law in the Atlantic World (with Sue Peabody, Bedford Books, 2007). She has been a fellow at University of Maryland at College Park, University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.


Mary C. Karasch
Mary Karasch is Professor of History emeritus after teaching at Oakland University from 1970 to 2010 except when resident in Washington, D.C., Brasília, and Goiânia, Brazil. Her principal publication on slavery is Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1850, which received the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association in 1987. The article to be published in Goiás, "As Irmandades Negras de Goiás, séculos XVIII e XIX," reflects her more recent research into black irmandades, in part for her future book. Another recent article is "Quality, Nation, and Color: Constructing Identities in Central Brazil, 1775-1835," which is available on line. Her current project is the completion of her book manuscript, "Frontier Life in Central Brazil, 1780-1835," which will examine social transformations in what are now the states of Goiás and Tocantins in the late colonial period. Basically, it will trace the evolution of a slave society based on mining slavery and the conquest and captivity of indigenous nations to that of a majority free population of color by 1835, albeit one still at war with the indigenous nations of the region. "Frontier Life" also explores the theme of Indian slavery and the regional slave trade to Belém.


Herbert S. Klein
Herbert S. Klein is the author of numerous books and articles in several languages on Latin America and on comparative themes in social and economic history. Among these books are seven comparative studies of slavery, the most recent of which are African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean (coauthor) - 2nd ed. Oxford UP 2007, The Atlantic Slave Trade (2nd ed. Cambridge UP, 2009); Slavery and the Economy of So Paulo, 1750-1850 (coauthor) - Stanford UP 2003; Escravismo em Sáo Paulo e Minas Gerais (coauthor) -EDUSP, 2009; and Slavery in Brazil (coauthor) - Cambridge UP 2009. He has also published on such diverse themes as The American Finances of the Spanish Empire, 1680-1809 (UNM Press, 1998); A Population History of the United States (Cambridge, 2004,) and A Concise History of Bolivia, (2nd ed, Cambirdge UP, 2010). He is author of A imigração espanhola no Brasil (Editora Sumaré, 1994); and co-author of Brazil Since 1980 (Cambridge, 2006). He and his co-authors Francisco Vidal Luna and Iraci del Nero da Costa have just won the annual Prize for the best book in History and Social Sciences from the Academia Brasileira de Letras for their volume of essays Escravismo em São Paulo e Minas.


Silvia Hunold Lara
Silvia Hunold Lara, professor of History at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, has published Campos da Violência. Escravos e senhores na Capitania do Rio de Janeiro, 1750-1808 (1988) and Fragmentos Setecentistas. Escravidão, cultura e poder na América Portuguesa (2007). With Joseli M. N. Mendonça she edited Direitos e Justiças no Brasil. Ensaios de história social (2006), and with Gustavo Pacheco, Memória do Jongo: as gravaçóes históricas de Stanley J. Stein. Vassouras, 1949 (2007).


Douglas C. Libby
Douglas C. Libby is Associate Professor of History, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. He graduated in history from the University of Maine at Orono and earned a Masters in Political Science from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). His Doctorate in history is from the University of São Paulo. He has been on the faculty of the History Department of the UFMG and currently is Director of the Centro de Estudos Mineiros there. His research has long focused on the Brazilian slave society, in particular that of old gold mining region of Minas Gerais. Libby has placed special emphasis on themes relating to non- export economic activities such as cloth production and iron making, slave demography and the issues raised by tendencies toward natural reproduction, the economic role of women in the slave economy, manumission practices and the manumitted, Africans and Afro-Brazilians in the slave society of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Minas, the slave, freed and freeborn family, and the complex color and origin identities assigned to and often assumed by Africans and their Afro-Brazilian descendants. He has published six books in Brazil, book chapters and articles in such journals as The Journal of American Studies, Latin American Research Review, Slavery & Abolition, Colonial Latin American History Review, and The Americas.


Paul E. Lovejoy
Paul E. Lovejoy is Distinguished Research Professor, Department of History, York University, and holds the Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, and a member of the UNESCO "Slave Route" Project (Secteur du Culture). Previously, he has been Research Professor, Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), University of Hull (UK) (2000-2008). His recent publications include Slavery, Commerce and Production in West Africa: Slave Society in the Sokoto Caliphate (2005) and Ecology and Ethnography of Muslim Trade in West Africa (2005) He is Editor of the Harriet Tubman Series on the African Diaspora for Africa World Press, and co-edits African Economic History with José C. Curto and SHADD: Studies in the History of the African Diaspora - Documents (www.yorku.ca/tubman). He has been awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of the University, University of Stirling in 2007, the President's Research Award of Merit at York University in 2009, and the Distinguished Africanist Award by the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.


Beatriz G. Mamigonian
Beatriz G. Mamigonian received her PhD from the University of Waterloo, in Canada. She is a professor of History at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil, having also been a fellow at the Gilder Lehman Center at Yale and a visiting professor of history at Michigan State University. She co-edited, with Karen Racine, the collections of biographies The Human Tradition in the Black Atlantic (2009), and The Human Tradition in the Atlantic World (forthcoming 2010). Her research concentrates on the social consequences of the prohibition of the Atlantic slave trade in Brazil. She has published a number of essays in edited collections and journal articles in English and in Portuguese, among them "In the name of freedom: Slave Trade Abolition, the Law and the Brazilian Branch of the African Emigration Scheme", Slavery & Abolition (2009). She is currently preparing a book manuscript on the experience of liberated Africans in Brazil.


Jeffrey D. Needell
Jeffrey D. Needell is a professor of modern Latin American history at the University of Florida. Needell took his A.B. at the University of California, Berkeley; he studied Latin American and African history at Yale (M.A.) and Latin American and European cultural history at Stanford (Ph.D.). He was appointed at the University of Florida after teaching at the University of Oregon and serving as an administrator in the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Supported by fellowships from Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society, he has published A Tropical Belle Epoque: Elite Society and Culture in Turn-of-the-Century Rio de Janeiro (1987) and The Party of Order: The Conservatives, the State, and Slavery in the Brazilian Monarchy, 1831-1871 (2006) (winner of the Warren Dean Memorial Prize and the Roberto Reis Book Award), as well as two dozen articles and chapters on the urban cultural history, intellectual history, and political history of Brazil. His current research interests focus on Afro-Brazilian political mobilization in nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro, particularly in the movement for slavery's abolition (1879-1888).


Richard Price
Richard Price divides his time between rural Martinique and the College of William and Mary, where he is Duane A. and Virginia S. Dittman Professor of American Studies and Professor of Anthropology and History. His award-winning books include First-Time (1983, 2002), Alabi's World (1990), The Convict and the Colonel (1998, 2006), and Travels with Tooy (2008), winner of the 2008 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, the 2009 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship, and the 2009 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion. His most recent book is Rainforest Warriors: Human Rights on Trial (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). For more information, see http://www.richandsally.net/.


João José Reis
Born in Brazil, João José Reis received his PhD in History from the University of Minnesota. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Princeton University, Brandeis University, the University of Texas (Austin), and École d'Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris). Reis has also been a Research fellow at the University of London, Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), and the National Humanities Center. Currently he is Professor of History at the Universidade Federal da Bahia. Reis's books include Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The 1835 Muslim Revolt in Bahia (The Johns Hopkins University Press) and Death is a Festival: Funeral Rites and Rebellion in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (North Carolina), among others.


Stuart B. Schwartz
Stuart B. Schwartz is the George Burton Adams Professor of History at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1968 and specializes in the History of colonial Latin America, especially Brazil and on the history of Early Modern expansion. Among his books are Sovereignty and Society in Colonial Brazil (1973), Early Latin America (1983), Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society (1985), Slaves, Peasants, and Rebels (1992), as editor, A Governor and His Image in Baroque Brazil (1979), Implicit Understandings (1994), Victors And Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico (2000), Cambridge History Of Native Peoples Of The Americas. South America (1999), and All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World (2008). He is presently working on several projects: a history of independence of Portugal and the crisis of the Iberian Atlantic, 1620-1670; and a social history of Caribbean hurricanes.


Rebecca J. Scott

Photo by Lin Jones
Rebecca J. Scott is the Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. Scott writes on slavery and postemancipation society in both Latin America and the U.S. South. Her most recent articles include "Public Rights, Social Equality, and the Conceptual Roots of the Plessy Challenge," Michigan Law Review 106 (2008); "Microhistory set in Motion: An Atlantic Creole Itinerary," in Aisha Khan, George Baca, and Stephan Palmié, eds., Empirical Futures: Anthropologists and Historians Engage the Work of Sidney W. Mintz (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, forthcoming 2009); and "'She . . . refuses to deliver up herself as the slave of your petitioner': Émigrés, Enslavement, and the 1808 Louisiana Digest of the Civil Laws," Tulane European and Civil Law Forum 24 (2009). Her 2005 book, Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery, received the Frederick Douglass Prize and the John Hope Franklin Prize. With Jean M. Hébrard, she is currently completing a volume with the working title, "Freedom Papers: One Family's Atlantic Odyssey, 1785-1945," scheduled for publication by Harvard University Press in spring 2012.