Christopher Rosenmüller is one of a number of recent scholars to revisit history’s “great men,” who were the focus of most studies on colonial Spanish America until social history’s rise to popularity in the 1960s. These historians are reassessing the roles of individual rulers and colonial institutions, using methodologies borrowed from social and cultural history more often used to examine the ruled rather than rulers.
Greg Grandin has written a page-turner that tells the story of Henry Ford’s foray into the Brazilian Amazon and much more. In 1925, Ford met with Harvey Firestone to discuss England’s challenge to the US rubber supply. Much as the Belgians had done in Africa in the late nineteenth-century, England had extracted this resource by proxy—through companies such as the Peruvian Amazon Rubber Company in the Amazon and its Asian colonies. Ford’s response was to embark upon his own South American venture into the world of rubber.
Drug trafficking – especially as it pertains to Mexico – has been a main fixture in today’s news for some time now. But UT graduate student Edward F. Shore argues that the violence, disorder, and political, social, and economic instability associated with the drug trade has a long history, and one that has had international repercussions.
In July 1997, a Cuban-Argentine forensic team unearthed the skeletal remains of Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Vallegrande, Bolivia. Thirty years earlier, on October 9, 1967, CIA-trained Bolivian Special Forces agents had captured and executed the thirty-nine-year-old revolutionary before dumping his body in a shallow pit near a dirt runway.
In October 1937, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered his troops to slaughter Haitians living in the Dominican frontier and the Cibao. The horrific violence left as many as 15,000 dead. Trujillo apologists managed to justify the action nationally, but the massacre created an international public relations nightmare for the regime.
This book is a wide-ranging study of the relationship between Bourbon Spain, its New World possessions, and the native peoples living on the borderlands of the Spanish empire who had not been brought under imperial political domination. Subjugating and Christianizing these unincorporated indigenous peoples, called bárbaros (translated as “savages”) were major objectives of late eighteenth-century Bourbon reforms.
In the sixth installation of our new series, “Making History,” Zach Doleshal speaks with Takkara Brunson about her research on Afro-Cuban women in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Brunson’s research experiences in Cuba, and stories of the fascinating women who form the core of her research offer a taste not only of life and work in a place few Americans get to visit, but also a window into the making of a social and cultural historian.
Dulcinea in the Factory presents a gendered historical analysis of the boom in the textiles industry in Medellín that goes beyond the typical economic analysis of industry-based modernity. It places gender in the context of the roles of the church and the paternalistic factory owners as well as the memories of the workers, to tell this history of forgotten myths and morals in the workplace.
From his childhood among the crumbling Spanish forts in West Florida to his experiences in the archives of Chavez’s Venezuela, Jesse Cromwell shares stories of adventure with Zach Doleshal culled from both his own life and the experiences of the Caribbean smugglers who form the subject of his dissertation.
In the third installation of our series, “Making History,” Aragorn Storm Miller speaks with Christina Salinas about her experience as a graduate student in history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the interview, Christina tells us about her childhood spent living near the Texas-Mexico border, the long history of the Texas Border Patrol, and how her research interests have evolved over the course of her undergraduate and graduate career at the University of Texas.