People sections

Letter from the Chair

Marc Adam Hertzman PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor of History
HISTORY, Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

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Areas of Specialization

Latin America; Brazil; Race; Culture; African Diaspora; Gender; Labor


I study the history of Brazil and Latin America with special interest in race, culture, labor, and gender.  My first book, Making Samba: A New History of Race and Music in Brazil, was published by Duke University Press in 2013.  In 2014, the Latin American Studies Association awarded it Honorable Mention (runner-up) for the Bryce Wood Book Prize, given annually to the best manuscript about Latin America in the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

I have published articles in Hispanic American Historical Review, [i]Luso-Brazilian ReviewA Contracorriente, [/i]Journal of Latin American Studies, and several edited volumes in Brazil.  My work has also appeared in New York Magazine, RebootIllinois, Notches, and other venues.  From time to time I appear on Al-Jazeera to provide commentary and news analysis.

At the moment, I am working on several projects.  The first, a scholarly monograph titled "The Death of Zumbi: Suicide, Slavery, and Martyrdom in Brazil and the Black Atlantic," examines the ways that different actors have narrated the passing of a singular figure, Zumbi, the last leader of Palmares, Brazil's famed quilombo (runaway slave community).  Between the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, observers across the Atlantic have treated his death alternately as a suicide or a war casualty.  Within these competing narratives, we find new ways to understand the formation of colonial and independent Brazil and the trajectories of numerous twentieth-century phenomena, including Marxist mobilizations, racial revolution, and the consolidation of multiple authoritarian administrations.

A book about Gilberto Gil's album Refazenda  is under contract with Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 Series, and I have a longer-term project about the Brazilian scholar Edison Carneiro and his father, Antônio Joaquim de Souza Carneiro, both of whom helped shaped the intertwined histories of race, radical politics, and intellectual inquiry in the century that followed abolition (1888).

Before coming to Illinois I was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Latin American Studies at Wesleyan University and then Assistant Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Brazilian Studies at Columbia University.  

I am on leave this fall and will be teaching HIST 104 (Black Music) and HIST 499 (Thesis Seminar) in the spring.


  • B.A. Washington University (MO) (Magna Cum Laude, 2000); Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008)



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Book Contributions

  • "Fora de moda e sem lugar: Rádio e cultura na formação da escola USPiana (1960s-‘70s)." Música e as Ciências Sociais. . Forthcoming, 2016.

  • "Prefácio: Nos labirintos da música: Estudos interdisciplinares, história, nação, tradição." Sentinelas da tradição: A constituição da autenticidade no samba e no choro. . Forthcoming, 2016.

  • "Freyreans, Marxists, and the 'Labyrinth of Nations': Lima Barreto and His Critics." Lima Barreto: New Critical Perspectives. . Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013.

  • "Music, Religion, and Perceptions of Crime in Early Twentieth-Century Rio de Janeiro." The Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. . Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2006. 4:1541-44.

Journal Articles

  • "Toward and against a Sounded History." Hispanic American Historical Review 96.2 (2016): 249-58.
  • "'To Love without Fear': Feminist and LGBTQ Mobilizations in Brazil." Notches: (Re)marks on the History of Sexuality (2016): 16 Sep. 2016. <>.
  • "Where’s the Empire in Brazilian Empire?: Race, Gender, and Imperial Nostalgia in Turn-of-the-Century Brazil." Luso-Brazilian Review 52.1 (2015): 1-20.
  • "Beyond Renewal? Colonialism, the Canon, and the Challenging Spaces between Martí and Chakrabarty." A Contracorriente: A Journal on Social History and Literature in Latin America 12.2 (2015): 42-73.
  • "Making Music and Masculinity in Vagrancy's Shadow: Race, Wealth, and Malandragem in post-Abolition Rio de Janeiro." Hispanic American Historical Review 90.4 (2010): 591-626.
  • "A Brazilian Counterweight: Music, Intellectual Property, and the African Diaspora in Rio de Janeiro (1910s-1930s)." The Journal of Latin American Studies 41.4 (2009): 695-722.
  • "The Promise and Challenge of Transnational History (Review Essay)." A Contracorriente: A Journal on Social History and Literature in Latin America 7.1 (2009): 305-15.

Website Articles

  • "Muhammad Ali and Illinois' Broken Political System." Reboot Illinois. 10 Jun. 2016.
  • "Super Marta and Our Own Crises." Duke University Press Blog. 9 Jul. 2014.
  • "The Campaign to Impeach Brazil's President Is Viciously Sexist." New York Magazine -- The Cut. 22 Apr. 2016.