Faculty Books

The Early Modern Hispanic World book cover

Iberia stands at the center of key trends in Atlantic and world histories, largely because Portugal and Spain were the first European kingdoms to ‘go global’. The Early Modern Hispanic World engages with new ways of thinking about the early modern Hispanic past, as a field of study that has grown exponentially in recent years. It focuses predominantly on questions of how people understood the rapidly changing world in which they lived – how they defined, visualized, and constructed communities from family and city to kingdom and empire. To do so, it incorporates voices from across the Hispanic World and across disciplines. The volume considers the dynamic relationships between circulation and fixedness, space and place, and how new methodologies are reshaping global history, and Spain’s place in it.


Report on the Agrarian Law book cover

‘Report on the Agrarian Law’ (1795) and Other Writings is the first modern English translation of perhaps the greatest work of the Spanish Enlightenment, Gaspar Melchor sobre Jovellanos’s ‘Informe sobre la Ley Agraria’ (1795). A major work of political economy and a beautifully crafted philosophical history of Spain s political development until the eighteenth century, ‘Informe sobre la Ley Agraria’ is a classic work of the Spanish Enlightenment. Displaying the richness of Spanish Enlightenment writing on political economy emerging from a fecund conjugation of foreign writers (Smith, Ferguson, Condillac, Mirabeau, Genovesi) with Spanish writers (Ulloa, Olavide, Uztariz, Campomanes), this masterpiece explores the lessons learned from the shortcomings of the Spanish Crown’s economic policies in the eighteenth century.


A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida (University of Chicago Press), argues that, between the early 1900s and the 1960s, property ownership helped set the terms of Jim Crow segregation. It shows how a shared stake in growing South Florida’s economy allowed competing property interests from opposite sides of the color line to forge consensus about the best way to manage urban development and police the black poor. As a work of both political economy and cultural studies, A World More Concrete focuses on American political culture and the nuts and bolts of how real estate interests claimed spaces, in legal terms, for the United States while selling them, in Miami’s case, as something more-than-American for tourists and potential investors. In particular, the book explores previously unknown dynamics between property management firms, landlords, tenants, government officials, and suburban homeowners in order to show how property owners of various stripes tied meanings of blackness and whiteness to the built environment.


In 1789, as the French Revolution shook Europe to the core, the new United States was struggling for survival in the face of financial insolvency and bitter political and regional divisions. When the United States Spoke French explores the republic’s formative years from the viewpoint of a distinguished circle of five Frenchmen taking refuge in America. When the French Revolution broke out, these men had been among its leaders. They were liberal aristocrats and ardent Anglophiles, convinced of the superiority of the British system of monarchy and constitution. They also idealized the new American republic, which seemed to them an embodiment of the Enlightenment ideals they celebrated. But soon the Revolutionary movement got ahead of them, and they found themselves chased across the Atlantic.

François Furstenberg follows these five men—Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Napoleon’s future foreign minister; theoristreformer Rochefoucauld, the duc de Liancourt; Louis-Marie Vicomte de Noailles; Moreau de Saint-Méry; and Constantin-François Chasseboeuf, Comte Volney—as they left their homes and families in France, crossed the Atlantic, and landed in Philadelphia—then America’s capital, its principal port, and by far its most cosmopolitan city and the home of the wealthiest merchants and financiers. The book vividly reconstructs their American adventures, following along as they integrated themselves into the city and its elite social networks, began speculating on backcountry lands, and eventually became enmeshed in Franco-American diplomacy. Through their stories, we see some of the most famous events of early American history in a new light, from the diplomatic struggles of the 1790s to the Haitian Revolution to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

By the end of this period, the United States was on its way to becoming a major global power. Through this small circle of men, we find new ways to understand the connections between U.S. and world history, and gain fresh insight into American history’s most critical era. Beautifully written and brilliantly argued, When the United States Spoke French offers a fresh perspective on the tumultuous years of the young nation, when the first great republican experiments were put to the test.


contraband book cover

Louis Mandrin led a gang of bandits who brazenly smuggled contraband into 18th-century France. Michael Kwass brings new life to the legend of this Gallic Robin Hood and the thriving underworld he helped to create. Decades before the storming of the Bastille, surging world trade excited a revolution in consumption that transformed the French kingdom. Contraband exposes the dark side of this early phase of globalization, revealing hidden connections between illicit commerce, criminality, and popular revolt.

France’s economic system was tailor-made for an enterprising outlaw like Mandrin. As French subjects began to crave colonial products, Louis XIV lined the royal coffers by imposing a state monopoly on tobacco from America and an embargo on brilliantly colored calico cloth from India. Vigorous black markets arose through which traffickers fed these exotic goods to eager French consumers. Flouting the law with unparalleled panache, Mandrin captured widespread public attention to become a symbol of a defiant underground.

This furtive economy generated violent clashes between gangs of smugglers and customs agents in the borderlands. Eventually, Mandrin was captured by French troops and put to death in a brutal public execution intended to demonstrate the king’s absolute authority. But the spectacle only cemented Mandrin’s status as a rebel folk hero in an age of mounting discontent. Amid cycles of underground rebellion and agonizing penal repression, the memory of Mandrin inspired ordinary subjects and Enlightenment philosophers alike to challenge royal power and forge a movement for radical political change.


voices-of-decolonization book cover

This unprecedented volume shows how and why mid-20th-century decolonization transformed societies and cultures and continues to shape today’s world. The introduction explores decolonization as both a historical era and an aspirational movement. A rich collection of primary sources combines the voices of the colonized and the colonizers in Africa, Asia, and throughout the world to recapture the intensity and variety of the independence struggles. Organized chronologically and topically, the documents reveal how and why formal decolonization, once an unimaginable prospect to imperialists, came quickly to seem inevitable. Maps, document headnotes, a chronology, questions to consider, and a bibliography enrich students’ understanding of decolonization and its enduring consequences.


Psychic trauma is one of the most frequently invoked ideas in the behavioral sciences and the humanities today. Yet bitter disputes have marked the discussion of trauma ever since it first became an issue in the 1870s, growing even more heated in recent years following official recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder (Ptsd).

In a book that is bound to ignite controversy, Ruth Leys investigates the history of the concept of trauma. She explores the emergence of multiple personality disorder, Freud’s approaches to trauma, medical responses to shellshock and combat fatigue, Sandor Ferenczi’s revisions of psychoanalysis, and the mutually reinforcing, often problematic work of certain contemporary neurobiological and postmodernist theorists. Leys argues that the concept of trauma has always been fundamentally unstable, oscillating uncontrollably between two competing models, each of which tends at its limit to collapse into the other.

A powerfully argued work of intellectual history, Trauma will rewrite the terms of future discussion of its subject.


imperial portugal book cover

As the British, French, and Spanish Atlantic empires were torn apart in the Age of Revolutions, Portugal steadily pursued reforms to tie its American, African, and European territories more closely together. Eventually, after a period of revival and prosperity, the Luso-Brazilian world also succumbed to revolution, which ultimately resulted in Brazil’s independence from Portugal. The first of its kind in the English language to examine the Portuguese Atlantic World in the period from 1750 to 1850, this book reveals that despite formal separation, the links and relationships that survived the demise of empire entwined the historical trajectories of Portugal and Brazil even more tightly than before. From constitutionalism to economic policy to the problem of slavery, Portuguese and Brazilian statesmen and political writers labored under the long shadow of empire as they sought to begin anew and forge stable post-imperial orders on both sides of the Atlantic.


The Taiping Rebellion was one of the costliest civil wars in human history. Many millions of people lost their lives. Yet while the Rebellion has been intensely studied by scholars in China and elsewhere, we still know little of how individuals coped with these cataclysmic events.

Drawing upon a rich array of primary sources, What Remains explores the issues that preoccupied Chinese and Western survivors. Individuals, families, and communities grappled with fundamental questions of loyalty and loss as they struggled to rebuild shattered cities, bury the dead, and make sense of the horrors that they had witnessed.

Driven by compelling accounts of raw emotion and deep injury, What Remains opens a window to a world described by survivors themselves. This book transforms our understanding of China’s 19th century and recontextualizes suffering and loss in China during the 20th century.


Contributing to the historiography of transnational and global transmission of ideas, Connections after Colonialism examines relations between Europe and Latin America during the tumultuous 1820s.

In the Atlantic World, the 1820s was a decade marked by the rupture of colonial relations, the independence of Latin America, and the ever-widening chasm between the Old World and the New. Connections after Colonialism, edited by Matthew Brown and Gabriel Paquette, builds upon recent advances in the history of colonialism and imperialism by studying former colonies and metropoles through the same analytical lens, as part of an attempt to understand the complex connections–political, economic, intellectual, and cultural–between Europe and Latin America that survived the demise of empire.

Historians are increasingly aware of the persistence of robust links between Europe and the new Latin American nations. This book focuses on connections both during the events culminating with independence and in subsequent years, a period strangely neglected in European and Latin American scholarship. Bringing together distinguished historians of both Europe and America, the volume reveals a new cast of characters and relationships ranging from unrepentant American monarchists, compromise seeking liberals in Lisbon and Madrid who envisioned transatlantic federations, and British merchants in the River Plate who saw opportunity where others saw risk to public moralists whose audiences spanned from Paris to Santiago de Chile and plantation owners in eastern Cuba who feared that slave rebellions elsewhere in the Caribbean would spread to their island.