Barbara Weinstein

Professor of History; Silver Professor

Yale University, PhD 1980

Office Address: 

King Juan Carlos Center, Room 503



Field of Study: 

Latin America and the Carribbean

Research Interests: 

Modern Latin America, Brazil, labor history, slavery and emancipation, race and gender, regionalism and nationalism.

Curriculum Vitae


Barbara Weinstein's research has focused on postcolonial Latin America, particularly Brazil. Her courses and publications explore questions of labor, gender, race, and political economy in regions as diverse as the Amazon, with the world's largest rainforest, and the state of São Paulo, Latin America’s leading industrial center. Weinstein’s most recent book -- The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in Brazil (Duke University Press, 2015)--considers a period in Brazilian history when the state of São Paulo emerged as the nation’s dominant economic center and political force. Tracing elite and scholarly discourses in this period, she explores the way in which paulistas (natives of São Paulo), deploying highly racialized discourses, constructed a notion of São Paulo exceptionalism that produced a hierarchical, almost imperial view of the region’s position within the Brazilian nation. A principal objective of this study is to illuminate the processes by which modernity in Brazil became “racialized” and identified with “whiteness” even as elites proclaimed their nation to be a racial democracy. Weinstein earned her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and her PhD at Yale University. Before moving to NYU, she was on the faculty at Stony Brook University and the University of Maryland, and she has also taught as a Fulbright lecturer at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2010-11 she was a resident fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Other fellowships include awards from the Fulbright-Hays Program, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2007, she served as president of the American Historical Association.

Selected Works:

barbara.png  The Color of Modernity: São Paulo and the Making of Race and Nation in   Brazil (Durham: Duke Univ. Press) 2015, xiii + 458 pp.

MiddleClass.jpg(co-editor), The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 2012). 





WeinsteinSocialPeace.jpg For Social Peace in Brazil: Industrialists and the Remaking of the Working Class in São Paulo, 1920-1964 (Chapel Hill: The Univ. of North Carolina Press) 1996, xvii + 435 pp. 

TheAmazonRubberBoomBOOK.jpgThe Amazon Rubber Boom, 1850-1920 (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press) 1983, x + 356 pp.






“The World is Your Archive?  The Challenges of World History as a Field of Research,” in A Companion to World History, Douglas Northrop, ed. (Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell) 2012, pp. 63-78.

“Postcolonial Brazil,” in José C. Moya, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), pp. 212-256. 

“Developing Inequality,” American Historical Review v. 113, no. 1 (Feb. 2008), pp. 1-18. 

“Inventing the Mulher Paulista: Politics, Rebellion, and the Gendering of Brazilian Regional Identities,” Journal of Women’s History 18, no. 1 (Winter 2006), pp. 22-49.   

 “History without a Cause?  Grand Narratives, World History, and the Postcolonial Dilemma,” International Review of Social History 50 (2005), pp. 71-93. 

“Racializing Regional Difference: São Paulo vs. Brazil, 1932,” in N. Appelbaum, A. Macpherson and K. Rosemblatt, eds., Race and Nation in Modern Latin America (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2003), pp. 237-262. 

“Buddy, Can You Spare a Paradigm?: Reflections on Generational Shifts and Latin American History,” The Americas 57:4 (April 2001), pp. 453-466. 

"Unskilled Worker, Skilled Housewife: Constructing the Working-Class Woman in São Paulo, Brazil," in John D. French and Daniel James, eds., The Gendered Worlds of Latin American Women Workers (Durham: Duke University Press), 1997, pp. 72-99.

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Updated on 10/06/2016