Daniel Livesay: Belle’s Atlantic Community

Today we welcome a guest post from Daniel Livesay, author of Children of Uncertain Fortune:  Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833, published by our friends at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children… Continue Reading Daniel Livesay: Belle’s Atlantic Community

#HaitiSyllabus — Haitian Studies titles from UNC Press

#HaitiSyllabus Haitian Studies titles from UNC Press The University of North Carolina Press has prided itself on accumulating and disseminating books that range in field and scope.  We have made it our mission to contribute to the ongoing debates and discussions within and outside of the academy.  In light of President Trump’s remarks regarding Haiti,… Continue Reading #HaitiSyllabus — Haitian Studies titles from UNC Press

Megan Raby: The Tropical Origins of the Idea of Biodiversity

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Megan Raby, author of American Tropics:  The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science. Biodiversity has been a key concept in international conservation since the 1980s, yet historians have paid little attention to its origins. Uncovering its roots in tropical fieldwork and the southward expansion of U.S. empire at… Continue Reading Megan Raby: The Tropical Origins of the Idea of Biodiversity

Megan Raby: Ecology and U.S. Empire in the Caribbean

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Megan Raby, author of American Tropics:  The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science. Biodiversity has been a key concept in international conservation since the 1980s, yet historians have paid little attention to its origins. Uncovering its roots in tropical fieldwork and the southward expansion of U.S. empire at… Continue Reading Megan Raby: Ecology and U.S. Empire in the Caribbean

Happening this week: An online roundtable on Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution by Devyn Spence Benson

Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online roundtable on Devyn Spence Benson’s Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution, published in 2016 by UNC Press. The roundtable begins on Monday, November 6, 2017, and concludes on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The roundtable will feature responses from Yesenia Barragan (Dartmouth College)… Continue Reading Happening this week: An online roundtable on Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution by Devyn Spence Benson

Eve E. Buckley: The Power and Paucity of Primary Documents for Latin American Historians

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Eve E. Buckley, author of Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil, on drought and regional development in Brazil. Eve E. Buckley’s study of twentieth-century Brazil examines the nation’s hard social realities through the history of science, focusing on the use of technology and… Continue Reading Eve E. Buckley: The Power and Paucity of Primary Documents for Latin American Historians

Eve E. Buckley: Science and the Challenges of Social Transformation

Today we welcome a guest blog post from Eve E. Buckley, author of Technocrats and the Politics of Drought and Development in Twentieth-Century Brazil, on drought and regional development in Brazil. Eve E. Buckley’s study of twentieth-century Brazil examines the nation’s hard social realities through the history of science, focusing on the use of technology and… Continue Reading Eve E. Buckley: Science and the Challenges of Social Transformation

Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

UNC Press is proud to host this first in a series of week-long virtual roundtables, featuring Press authors drawing on their work to address issues of contemporary concern. This week we share five short essays by leading scholars of immigration, including Elliott Young, Deirdre M. Moloney, Mireya Loza, Julie M. Weise, and Erika Lee. Continue Reading Off the Page: Roundtable 1: Immigration

Karina Biondi: The Extinction of Sexual Violence in the Prisons of São Paulo, Brazil

In 1992, in order to contain a riot, police forces invaded the largest prison in Latin America and killed 111 prisoners. The event, known as the Carandiru Massacre, was illustrated in the Brazilian film Carandiru, directed by Hector Babenco. Episodes of sexual violence were frequent, as were violent disputes over material goods and the conquest of spaces within the prison. Another factor that defined the life inside the prison was the financial capacity of the prisoner. There were, therefore, two ways of obtaining material goods and sexual services in prison: money or physical violence. Continue Reading Karina Biondi: The Extinction of Sexual Violence in the Prisons of São Paulo, Brazil

Obama Lands in Cuba

With his arrival in Cuba yesterday, President Barack Obama has become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island nation since 1928. This three-day trip is just one step in the major shift under the Obama administration to begin to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. For insightful historical perspective on what this trip means, we check in with some UNC Press authors who are providing helpful analysis. Continue Reading Obama Lands in Cuba

Graham T. Nessler: The Politics of Racial Difference: The View from Revolutionary Hispaniola

As the Obama era nears its end, the politics of racial (and religious) difference seem to dominate the headlines. From the anti-Muslim violence and bigotry that have intensified following the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, to the heightening of the affirmative action debate to the festering controversies over racially-charged criminal justice issues such as policing and mass incarceration, this appears to be a particularly polarized moment in America. As I finished my book this past fall, I often thought of parallels between these current events and my own area of historical expertise: the Haitian Revolution and the counterrevolutionary project that followed. Continue Reading Graham T. Nessler: The Politics of Racial Difference: The View from Revolutionary Hispaniola

April Merleaux: The Mexican Soda Tax Debate

Last year Mexico became the first nation in the world to impose a surtax on sweetened soft drinks. Policymakers justified the move by pointing out that people in Mexico consume more soda per capita than anywhere else in the world, a trend they argue fosters the nation’s high rates of obesity and diet-related disease. While governments around the world have also used economic incentives–or, in this case, disincentives–as a means of bolstering public health, Mexico’s soda tax does so on a much grander scale. A year later, in July 2015, public health researchers reported that consumption of soft drinks in Mexico fell by more than five percent. Many people hope for similar measures in the United States. California and New York are considering similar policies. New York City tried something similar a few years ago, before a judge overturned it, and the Navajo Nation just passed a junk food tax.

But the great Mexican soda tax debate can be viewed in a wider context than public health policy. It is, after all, also about the politics of capitalism and global trade. Continue Reading April Merleaux: The Mexican Soda Tax Debate

Book Trailer: Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World by Julia Gaffield

In the following video, Gaffield navigates a history wrought with slavery, colonialism, racial stereotyping, and global power politics, revealing how her book answers the question: What happened after the Haitian revolution? (running time 2:19). Continue Reading Book Trailer: Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World by Julia Gaffield

Julia Gaffield: Dessalines Day, October 17

Dessalines’s abilities and successes have been “silenced” in order to cast him as a bad apple in the (now) celebrated Haitian Revolution that changed the course of modern history. This oversimplified version of Dessalines as a revolutionary and state leader ignores his political achievements and reduces the Haitian Revolution to a palatable and whitewashed event during the Age of Revolution. It mirrors a reluctance to study the years after the Declaration of Independence. The revolution did not produce a democratic republic based on universalist principles of freedom and equality. Continue Reading Julia Gaffield: Dessalines Day, October 17

April Merleaux: The Subtlety of the Sugar Babies

Last summer, to celebrate finishing the manuscript of my book, Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness, I went to New York to see artist Kara Walker’s installation A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby in an old Domino sugar factory in Brooklyn. Walker is known for making bold art that calls on viewers to consider histories of racial violence in the United States, and A Subtlety did just that. Sugar, Walker points out, is historically tied to race in many and multiple ways. Continue Reading April Merleaux: The Subtlety of the Sugar Babies

Christina D. Abreu: Cuban Women Singers and the Mid-Twentieth Century Latin Music Scene, or, Celia and Graciela

Often overlooked in studies of Cuban musicians during the golden age of Latin popular music in the United States are the contributions of Afro-Cuban women singers. Two of the most prominent performers during the1940s and1950s were Graciela Pérez Grillo, lead singer for Machito y sus Afro-Cubans, and Celia Cruz, lead singer for La Sonora Matancera. Continue Reading Christina D. Abreu: Cuban Women Singers and the Mid-Twentieth Century Latin Music Scene, or, Celia and Graciela

Call for Manuscripts: Studies in Latin America open-access short works series

The Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Press invite manuscript submissions for a new joint initiative in open-access scholarly publishing. Continue Reading Call for Manuscripts: Studies in Latin America open-access short works series

Richard Schweid: Will Warming U.S.-Cuba Relations Reveal More Classic Car Treasures on the Island?

One thing a détente between the U.S. and Cuba will do is reveal the truth or falsehood of an urban myth in Havana, which holds that numerous pristine 1950s Detroit models are stored in secret garages across the city. Continue Reading Richard Schweid: Will Warming U.S.-Cuba Relations Reveal More Classic Car Treasures on the Island?

Video: Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr. on what history tells us about our present

Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr., author of Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco, explains how history might not be synonymous with the past. Continue Reading Video: Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr. on what history tells us about our present

Christina D. Abreu: In Honor of Professor Juan Flores

Criticism and embrace of identity terms like “Hispanic” and “Latino/a” have been longstanding in the field of Latino/a Studies. Puerto Ricans, Flores argued, share more in common with African Americans than with other Latino/a groups. He contended that Puerto Ricans and African Americans experience similar forms of racial and ethnic subordination in the United States because of parallels in their location in urban areas, their socioeconomic status, and their position as colonized subjects of the same nation-state. Continue Reading Christina D. Abreu: In Honor of Professor Juan Flores