Historias 28 – Tanya Harmer and Renata Keller on Latin America’s Cold War

In our inaugural state of the field episode, Drs. Tanya Harmer and Renata Keller talk with Dustin about Latin America’s Cold War. They discuss the meaning of the Cold War in Latin America, questions of chronology and areas of scholarly emphasis, and their own work highlighting voices long overlooked in the historiography.

Additional Resources:
Tanya Harmer, Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Renata Keller, Mexico’s Cold War: Cuba, the United States, and the Legacy of the Mexican Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Tanya Harmer on Twitter

Renata Keller on Twitter


Sala Escura da Tortura, trabalho coletivo: Gontran Guanaes Netto, Julio Le Parc, Alejandro Marco, Jose Gamarra, 1973

Historias 27 – Colin Snider, Courtney Campbell and Gray Kidd on Brazilian democracy and Bolsonaro’s election (Oct 29, 2018)

Colin Snider, Courtney Campbell, and Gray Kidd joined Steven to discuss yesterday’s runoff presidential election in Brazil. They discuss the evolution of democracy, the importance of regional history, and what may lay ahead.

Brazil’s Official Election Logo

Historias 26 – Javier Puente. Environmental Series: Climate

Dr. Javier Puente sits down to chat with Carlos for the first episode of The Environmental Series. They discuss Environmental History and Historical Climatology, the importance of being interdisciplinary, future work, and current events in Peru.



Historias 25 – Abbey Steele on democracy and displacement in Colombia’s civil war

Dr. Abbey Steele joined Dave and Steven to discuss her book Democracy and Displacement in Colombia’s Civil War, published in 2017 by Cornell University Press. In this important work, Abbey explores the idea of collective violence, in which a particular group of people – not based on race or ethnicity – are targeted in an attempt to cleanse them from an area. The Colombian example is a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of an earnest attempt to transition to democracy after the end of violent civil conflict.
Be sure to check out the extra time conversation with Abbey as she talks social science methods and conducting research using surveys in Colombia.


Additional resources:
Democracy and Displacement in Colombia’s Civil War
Democracy and civil war: The case of Colombia,” Conflict Management and Peace Science, (with Livia I. Schubiger), first published August 6, 2018
Abbey’s twitter feed

Historias 24 – Amy Erica Smith on Brazil’s presidential and congressional elections

Yesterday, Sunday, October 7, 2018, well over 100 million Brazilians cast their votes in presidential and congressional elections, with a sizable number voting en blanco or destroying their ballots. Of the presidential aspirants, the top two vote-getters were Congressman Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party and former education minister and Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party. Bolsonaro’s rise also led to an impressive display for his party in the congressional elections, earning a projected 51 seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies. Previously, his party had fewer than 10 seats.

Dr. Amy Erica Smith, an associate professor of political science at Iowa State University, joined Steven to make sense of yesterday’s election. Dr. Smith said that the Brazilian electorate made a clear statement to the political class.


Additional resources:

Amy Erica’s Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God

Amy Erica on Twitter

Amy Erica (with Ryan Lloyd) in Vox, “Top Pentecostal leaders supported the far right in Brazil’s presidential campaign,” (Oct. 8, 2018)

Brazil’s Official Election Logo

Historias 23 – Miguel Tinker Salas on the crisis in Venezuela

Dr. Miguel Tinker Salas of Pomona College joined Dustin and Steven to discuss the various problems afflicting Venezuela today. Tinker Salas reminds us that to fully understand the economic, political, and humanitarian crises, one must understand the historical evolution of the oil industry, the myth of the país privilegiado, and such state institutions as the military.

Notum bonum: There’s a special treat for this episode’s intro and outro music, which features the song Tierra sin culpa by Ali Primera (source: archive.org). Our thanks to Miguel for the suggestion.

Additional resources:
Miguel’s website
Miguel on twitter
Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2015)
The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela (Duke University Press, 2009)

Historias 22 – Martin Nesvig on the daily making and unmaking of empire in the Americas

Card sharks. Bigamists. Kidnappers. Brawlers. Drunks. Imposters. Assassins for hire. These are the people that played critical roles in the establishment of imperial Spanish rule in the 16th century Americas.
Dr. Martin Nesvig of the University of Miami spoke with Steven about his new book Promiscuous Power: An Unorthodox History of New Spain and the everyday practices of making and unmaking of empire.
Be sure to check out the extra time conversation with Martin.

Additional resources:
Martin’s webpage at The U
Promiscuous Power: An Unorthodox History of New Spain
Ideology and Inquisition: The World of the Censors in Early Mexico

Historias 21 – Lisa Munro on pernicious stereotypes in Guatemala and life #withaPhD

Dr. Lisa Munro spoke with Carlos about her research on the emergence of negative stereotypes of indigenous populations in Guatemala in the 1930s. They also discuss life #withaPhD, building community through social media, and her work leading writing workshops aimed at helping scholars and authors achieve their writing and publishing goals.



Additional resources:

Lisa’s website


Lisa’s twitter feed


Lisa’s company

Historias 20 – Charly St-Georges on the cultural lens of horror films in Latin America and Spain

Dr. Charles St-Georges of Denison University sat down with Dave McLaughlin to discuss his recent book Haunted Families and Temporal Normativity in Hispanic Horror Films – Troubling Timelines and its exploration of “three recent horror films from the Spanish-speaking world that, rather than explicitly referencing recent political violence, speak to the societal conditions and everyday normative violence that serve as preconditions for political violence.” They also discuss writing strategies, audience, and what’s next on Charly’s research agenda.



Additional resources:

Charly on Academia.edu

Films discussed in Charly’s book:

Los inocentes movie poster

Historias 19 – Juan José Ponce-Vázquez on smuggling in the 17th century Spanish Caribbean

Dr. Juan José Ponce-Vázquez joined Carlos and Steven to discuss his research on smuggling in the 17th century Spanish Caribbean. They also discuss writing strategies for finishing the first book, the value of social media, work-life balance, and what lay on Juanjo’s research horizon.

Additional resources:

Juanjo’s twitter feed

Juan José Ponce-Vázquez, “Unequal partners in crime: masters, slaves and free people of color in Santo Domingo, c.1600–1650,” Slavery and Abolition 37, no. 4 (2016), 704-723

Archivo General de Indias

  • To get to the documents of the AGI, you have to click on the tab “Inventario Dinámico” and select Archive General de Indias in the dropdown menu. The sections with the archive with digitalized documents have a little camera next to their names.
  • The Portal of Spanish archives can be very clunky and temperamental. This post might be helpful to those starting to use it.

Archivo General de la Nación (Dominican Republic)

  • Under “Servicios de Información Documental”, click on “Fondos Documentales.” The portal is called Calameo, and it is often down.
Map of San Domingo in the island of Hispaniola – Montanus – 1671

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