John D. French

Professor of History

External Address: 
331 Carr Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 684-2536


I am an historian of modern Latin America with a specialization in Brazil. Since 2005, I have been working on a book entitled "Lula's Politics of Cunning: From Trade Unionism to the Presidency in Brazil" which draws on a multi-year international research project on “Nurturing Hope, Deepening Democracy, and Combating Inequalities: An Assessment of Lula’s Presidency” that I co-organized (preliminary results have been published in 2012 along with a number of other articles on Lula, Latin American left turns, and working class history in Brazil. My last book entitled "Drowning in Laws: Labor Law and Brazilian Political Culture" was published in 2004.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 1985

French, JD. "Organizing dissent: Unions, the state, and the democratic teachers' movement in Mexico." INDUSTRIAL & LABOR RELATIONS REVIEW 51.2 (January 1998): 342-344. Full Text Open Access Copy

French, JD. "Drowning in Laws but Starving (for Justice?): Brazilian Labor Law and the Workers’ Quest to Realize the Imaginary." Political Power and Social Theory 12 (1998): 177-214. (Academic Article)

French, JD. "Translation: An Imperative for a Transnational World." Duke-UNC Program in Latin American Studies News (1997): 1-5.

French, JD, and James, D. "Activist Women Workers in the Trade Unions." Latin American Labor News (1997): 14-14. (Academic Article)

French, JD. "New Works from the Duke-UNC Translation Series." Duke-UNC Program in Latin American Studies News (1997): 3-3. (Academic Article)

French, JD. "Translation: An Imperative for a Transnational World." LASA Forum 28 (1997): 44-45. (Academic Article)

French, JD, and James, D. "Oral History, Identity Formation, and Working-Class Mobilization." (1997): 297-313. (Academic Article)

French, JD. "Comercio y Trabajo en el Mundo: Hacia la Cláusula Social." Nueva Sociedad (1997): 142-157. (Academic Article)

French, JD. "Sindicatos y NAFTA: Reflejos Nacionalistas y Imperativos Transnacionales." Latin American Labor News (1996). (Academic Article)