John D. French
Professor of History
I am a professor of History and African and African-American Studies at Duke University in Durham North Carolina. With a B.A. from Amherst College, I received my doctorate at Yale in 1985 under Brazilian historian Emília Viotti da Costa. Since 1979, I have been studying class, race, and politics in Brazil, Latin America, and beyond with 42 refereed articles and three books: The Brazilian Workers ABC (1992/1995 in Brazil), Drowning in Laws: Labor Law and Brazilian Political Culture (2004; 2002 in Brazil), and a coedited volume The Gendered Worlds of Latin American Women Workers (1997). I have just completed the first of a multivolume biography of Brazilian trade unionist turned President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva: The Unknown Lula: The Origins of a Brazilian President, 1945-1968.
I have over the years served as Director of the Duke's Latin American Center and the Carolina-Duke Consortium, Treasurer of our national interdisciplinary organization LASA, and co-editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review for a five year term that ended in June 2017. Over the past five years, I have founder and served as co-director of the Duke Brazil Initiative, the Global Brazil Humanities Lab of the Franklin Humanities Institute (2014-17), and a leader of the Bass Connections Project om "The Cost of Opportunity: Social Mobility and Higher Education in Rio's Baixada Fluminense"
My past grad advisees have completed dissertations on Bolivia, Brazil (2), Chile, Jamaica & Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Venezuela, and southeastern pacific marine environmental history. My graduate teaching includes the "Modern Latin American History" colloquium, a two semester sequence on "Afro-Brazilian History and Culture," and "The Latin American Wars of Indepenedence." Over the years, I have directed numerous undergraduate theses in a variety of disciplines, eight of which won prizes. My undergraduate offerings include surveys of Brazilian, Afro-Brazilian, and Modern Latin American history and Global Protest with a new offering planned on the political and military history of the Latin American Wars of Independence.
Snodgrass, MD, and French JD, . "Deference and Defiance in Monterrey: Workers, Paternalism, and Revolution in Mexico." Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas (2004). (Review)
French, JD. "Research Note: The Robert J. Alexander Interview Collection." Hispanic American Historical Review 84 (2004): 313-324. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy
French, JD. "Translation, Diasporic Dialogue, and the Errors of Pierre Bourdieu and Loic Wacquant." Nepantla 4 (2003): 375-389. Open Access Copy
French, JD. "10.Michael D. Snodgrass, Deference and Defiance in Monterrey: Workers, Paternalism, and Revolution in Mexico." Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 2.1 (2003): 137-139. (Review) Open Access Copy
French, JD. "Defense of honor: Sexual morality, modernity, and nation in early-twentieth-century Brazil." AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 107.5 (December 2002): 1614-1614. Full Text Open Access Copy
French, JD. "Towards effective transnational labor solidarity between NAFTA north and NAFTA south." LABOR HISTORY 43.4 (November 2002): 451-459. Full Text Open Access Copy
French, JD. "From the suites to the streets: The unexpected re-emergence of the "labor question," 1994-1999." LABOR HISTORY 43.3 (August 2002): 285-304. Full Text Open Access Copy
French, JD. "Editor, "Robert J. Alexander Papers: Interview Collection, 1947-1994"." (2002). (Academic Article)
French, JD. "’Brasiliana’ Breathrough: Translations as Building Blocks for a New Hemispheric Intellectual Architecture." LASA Forum 33 (2002): 12-13.