History Department
Teresa Meade

Teresa Meade

Job Title
Professor Emeritus, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture
Lippman Hall 110
History, Africana Studies, LACS


A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present
Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to the Present examines the diverse and interlocking experiences of people of indigenous, African, and European backgrounds from the onset of independence until the present day. The book analyzes the major and minor political events that shaped Latin American history, while portraying the everyday lives of men and women from a variety of class, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

Many of the broad themes of recent Latin American history – modernization, dependency, revolution, and neoliberalism – are constantly challenged by attention to the area’s diversity. By interspersing accounts of the prominent and well known with the more commonplace, this new history enriches Latin America’s master narrative with vivid and revealing portraits of ordinary people. In particular, Meade addresses the role of gender and its influence on stimulating political and economic change. Also examined is the crucial role of popular culture – music, art, sports, and the movies – in shaping a broad and vibrant Latin American cultural identity. With an engaging combination of personal histories interwoven with historical analysis, A History of Modern Latin America strikes a perfect balance in its presentation of the tumultuous years of post-colonial Latin America.

Brief History of Brazil, Second Edition
Facts on File, Inc., 2009
“A Brief History of Brazil, Second Edition comes at a crucial time in Brazil’s history. In the past seven years since the first edition of this book was published, the country has undergone dramatic changes. Foremost among them is the recent discovery of offshore oil and gas reserves that may allow Brazil not only to achieve self-sufficiency but also to become a major exporter of petroleum and biofuels. The nation is today richer, less in debt, and more active in international trade. It is more urbanized and making better use of its vast agricultural resources. Brazilians, although plagued by poverty, illiteracy, and crime, continue to contribute to international culture through music, dance, art, and, increasingly, film.” A Brief History of Brazil, Second Edition covers all major events, people, and developments in Brazil from the precolonial and colonial periods through today. It also explores the hallmarks of Brazilian popular culture: soccer, Carnival, music, and television dramas. Basic facts, a chronology, a bibliography, and a list of suggested reading make up the appendixes.

“Civilizing” Rio: Reform and Resistance in a Brazilian City, 1889-1930
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996
Conflicts during the Old Republic between Rio de Janeiro’s lower orders and their employers, the transit companies, and the state about the effects of ‘modernization’ resulted in many losses, but also a few victories for the poor. Such popular protests have been marginalized by a historiography that tends to label them ‘pre-modern’ and to privilege workplace organization and protest over community protest”–Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

A Companion to Gender History (Blackwell Companion’s to History Series)
by Teresa A. Meade (Editor), Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Editor)
Blackwell Publishers, 2004

A Companion to Gender History surveys the history of women around the world, studies their interaction with men in gendered societies, and looks at the role of gender in shaping human behavior over thousands of years. It contains both thematic essays, which demonstrate how gender has intersected with other historical topics, and chronological-geographic essays, which explore gender in one area of the world during a specific period. All the essays consider the importance of class, region, ethnicity, race, and religion to the formation of gendered societies. The book discusses family history, the history of the body and sexuality, and cultural history within an engendered political, economic, and social context. One of the key points to emerge from the volume as a whole is that no generalization about gender has applied to all times or all places. The contributions are written by scholars from across the English-speaking world and beyond, and includes academics from other disciplines as well as history.

Additional media

Areas of expertise

My area of expertise is Latin American history, especially social movements, issues of gender, and labor history in the 19th and 20th centuries. I began my career as a “Brazilianist,” and while maintaining a strong affection for and interest in Brazil’s people and history, I have now branched out into more general studies of other areas of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In both teaching and research I attempt to integrate fully the diversity of the peoples of the Americas: young and old, men and women, different categories of race, gender and sexuality. I view this diversity through the prism of state influence, showing the response, and often resistance, of the masses toward national and international economic and political policies that affect day-to-day life. A growing area of interest for me, and my next project, is a study of the transnationalism of popular culture that is increasingly uniting North and South Americans.

Academic credentials

B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University