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.
French, JD. The Brazilian Workers’ ABC: Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern Sao Paulo. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1992.
Latin American Labor Studies Bibliography (1992). Ed. JD French. Miami: Center for Labor Research and Studies of Florida International University, 1992.
Robert Alexander: The Complete Bibliography of a Pioneering Latin Americanist. Ed. JD French. Miami: Center for Labor Research and Studies, Florida International University, 1991.
Latin American Labor Studies: A Bibliography of English Publications through 1989Latin American Labor Studies: An Interim Bibliography of Non-English Publications (1989). Ed. JD French and JD French. Miami: Center for Labor Research and Studies of Florida International University, 1989.
The Microfilmed Ann and Franklin Chase Collection (A40155) of the Dallas Historical Society. Ed. JD French. Dallas: Dallas Historical Society, 1988.
French, JD. "Trade Unionism and the Fight to Reshape the World that Trade Built: International Worker Rights in a Globalizing World, 1959-1999Trade Unionism and the Fight to Reshape the World that Trade Built: International Worker Rights in a Globalizing World, 1959-1999." Arbeit, Arbeiterbewegung und neue soziale Bewegungen im globalisierten Weltsystem. Ed. B Unfried. Linz, Austria: ITH, 2004. 155-178.
French, JD. "Labor and NAFTA: Nationalist Reflexes and Transnational Imperatives in North America." Labour and Globalisation: Results and Prospects. Ed. R Munck. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 2004. 149-65.
French, JD. "’Not all of History is Recorded in the Books Supplied to School Children’: ’Pale History Books’ and the Hidden Afro-Diasporic Dialogue between the United States and Brazil, 1914-1966." Resistência e Inclusão: História, Cultura, Cidadania Afrodescendentes. Ed. DPRD Fonseca. Rio de Janeiro: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Consulado Geral dos Estados Unidos no Rio de Janeiro, 2003. 19-49.
French, JD. "'Not all of History is Recorded in the Books Supplied to School Children': 'Pale History Books' and the Hidden Afro-Diasporic Dialogue between the United States and Brazil, 1914-1966." Resistência e Inclusão: História, Cultura, Cidadania Afrodescendentes. Ed. Denise Pini Rosalem de Fonseca. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Consulado Geral dos Estados Unidos no Rio de Janeiro, 2003. 19-49.
French, JD. "Beyond Words, Without Words, and Finding Words: Responding to the Catastrophe." The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader. Timothy W. Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell, a college textbook published by McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002.
French, JD. "Latin American and International Working Class History on the Brink of the 21st Century: Points of Departure in Comparative Labor Studies." The Labor Movement: A Failed Project of Modernity. Linz, Austria: International Conference of Labor and Social History, 2000.
French, JD. "Pensar América Latina. Entrevista de Daniel James e John French." Na Luta por Direitos: Estudos Recentes em História Social do Trabalho. Ed. A Fortes and A Negro. Campinas: UNICAMP, 1999. 181-210.
French, JD. "Los trabajadores industriales y el nacimiento de la República Populista en Brasil, 1945-46." Populismo y Neopopulismo en América Latina: El Problema de la Cenicienta. Ed. MM Mackinnon and MA Petrone. Buenos Aires: Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, 1998. 59-77.
French, JD. "Reflections on a Recent Exchange between Duke University and El Colegio de México." Integrating Higher Education in North America: From Wingspread to San Diego. Ed. N Clement and G Sparrow. San Diego: Institute for Regional Studies of the California, San Diego State University, 1998. 29-29.
French, JD, and James, D. "Squaring the Circle: Women’s Factory Labor, Gender Ideology, and Necessity." The Gendered Worlds of Latin American Women Workers. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997. 1-30.
French, JD, and Fortes, A. "Nurturing Hope, Deepening Democracy, and Combating Inequalities in Brazil: Lula, the Workers´ Party, and Dilma Rousseff’s 2010 Election as President." Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 9 (2011): 7-28. (Academic Article)
French, JD. "Comparative Perspectives on Politics: An Interview with Dr. Alexandre Fortes and Dr. John D. French." Journal of Global Affairs 2011 (2011): 1-5.
French, JD, and Negro, AL. "Politics, Memory, and Working Class Life in the Commercial Biopic Lula, Son of Brazil." A Contracorriente: A Journal of Social History and Literature 8 (2011): 377-394. (Academic Article)
French, JD. "Assembly lines: the national-developmentalist industrialism and unionization of workers." TEMPO SOCIAL 22.1 (June 2010): 277-287.
French, JD. "How the Not-So-Powerless Prevail: Industrial Labor Market Demand and the Contours of Militancy in Mid-Twentieth-Century Sao Paulo, Brazil." HAHR-HISPANIC AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW 90.1 (February 2010): 109-142. Full Text
French, JD. "Review of Brodwyn M. Fischer, The Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Rio de Janeiro, 1930-1964 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008)." Social History Vol. 35 (2010): 84-86. (Review)
French, JD. "Resenha: Antonio Luigi Negro, Linhas de Montagem (Sao Paulo: 2004)." Tempo Social. Revista de Sociologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo 22 (2010): 277-87. (Review)
French, JD. "A Poverty of Rights: Citizenship and Inequality in Twentieth Century Rio de Janeiro." SOCIAL HISTORY 35.1 (2010): 84-86.
French, JD. "Lula, the ’New Unionism,’ and the Brazilian Workers’ Party: How Workers Came to Change the World, or at Least Brazil." Latin American Politics and Society 51 (November 2009): 157-169. (Academic Article)
French, JD. "Obama e o desafio pós-neoliberal [Obama and the Neo-Liberal Challenge]." Teoria e Debate (São Paulo) (April 2009).