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William Summerhill


Professor and Dr. E. Bradford Burns Chair in Latin American Studies


Contact Information

Email    wrs[at]history.ucla.edu
Office  9256 Bunche Hall
Phone  310-206-7600

William Summerhill is a historian of Brazil. His research interests include sovereign debt, credit markets, schooling and human capital, railroads and infrastructure, and inequality. He is the author of Inglorious Revolution: Political Institutions, Sovereign Debt, and Financial Underdevelopment in Imperial Brazil (Yale University Press, 2015), and Order Against Progress: Government, Foreign Investment, and Railroads in Brazil, 1854-1913 (Stanford University Press, 2003).

Summerhill has held visiting appointments at the Universidade de São Paulo (FEA/USP), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). He was a visiting researcher at the Escola de Pós-Graduação em Economia of the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (EPGE-FGV), and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Notes: Inglorious Revolution covered by Elio Gaspari in Folha de S.Paulo and O Globo (February 2016); reviewed by Kirsten Schultz in American Historical Review; by Leonardo Monasterio for Pesquisa e Planejamento Econômico (forthcoming); by Zephyr Frank in Business History Review; by Anne Hanley at EH.net; by Melissa Teixeira at H-LatAm; by Gail Triner in Journal of Economic History; by Rafael Ioris in History: Reviews of New Books; by Ulisses Ruiz-de-Gamboa in Diário do Comércio ("Como era solvente o meu Império"); by Asher Levine in Americas Quarterly ("What a 19th Century Default Says About Brazil's Crisis Today"); recommended reading at Casa das Garças (February 2016).

Talk on institutions, crony capitalism, and corruption at Centro Mackenzie de Liberdade Econômica covered in Folha de S.Paulo (October 2017); interviewed by BBC World Service Newsday on the corruption conviction of former President Lula in Brazil (July 2017); by Rafael Cariello on Renato Perim Colistete and his research on education in Brazil, in "Pátria Iletrada," in revista piauí (January 2017); by Luís Artur Nogueira for "Os homens da economia," IstoÉ Dinheiro (January 2017); by Márcio Kroehn for "Os presidentes num País em ebulição," IstoÉ Dinheiro (January, 2017); for NPR's Marketplace on Brazil's economic crisis and the new privatization proposals (September, 2016); by BBC World Service Newsday on the presidential impeachment in Brazil (August 2016); on BBC World TV news (August 2016); by Márcio Kroehn in IstoÉ Dinheiro, “O Brasil tem um estado enorme para um país emergente,” (February 2016); for Rafael Cariello's story on the search for Nathaniel Leff, "À Procura de Leff," in revista piauí (January 2016) (English version here); "Brazil's Meltdown," Yale Books Unbound (December 2015); profiled by the research foundation of the state of São Paulo (FAPESP), "Quem não deve não tem crédito;" interview by Jorge Felix in Valor Econômico"Lições da história econômica;" mention in the Folha de S.Paulo; cited in O Estado de S.Paulo; quoted in the Wall Street Journal; Elio Gaspari profile of research on 19th-century railroad subsidy, in Folha de S.Paulo.

Before taking up a career in research and teaching (and occasionally after) he served as a paratrooper. At one time he was responsible for the Army component of a joint redevelopment program with USAID in Bosnia-Herzegovina that secured local compliance with the Dayton peace accords, affording him a somewhat novel experience in applied development. He regularly speaks to campus student veteran groups. 

WilliamSummerhill.com

CV: Currículo Lattes (CNPq-Brasil)

Academia.edu page

UCLA Center for Economic History

Degrees

Ph.D., Stanford University; M.A. and B.A. (high honors), University of Florida

Awards

Alexander Gerschenkron Prize, Economic History Association

Grants

Fulbright IIE, Fulbright-Hays, ACLS Burkhardt, NSF, NEH, ACLS-SSRC, FAPESP, CNPq

Selected Publications

Books:

 
Inglorious Revolution: Political Institutions, Sovereign Debt, and Financial Underdevelopment in Imperial Brazil (Yale University Press, 2015)

Order Against Progress: Government, Foreign Investment, and Railroads in Brazil, 1854-1913 (Stanford University Press, 2003).

Articles and chapters:

"A Agricultura Paulista em 1905," (with Francisco Vidal Luna and Herbert S. Klein), Estudos Econômicos, vol. 44, no. 1, 2014.

"The New Economic History of Latin America: Evolution and Recent Contributions" (with John H. Coatsworth), in The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History, Jose Moya, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2010).

"Fiscal Bargains, Political Institutions, and Economic Performance," Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 88, no. 2 (2008): 219-33.

"Infrastructure," in Victor Bulmer-Thomas, John H. Coatsworth, and Roberto Cortes Conde, The Cambridge Economic History of Latin America, Vol. II, The Long Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

"Big Social Savings in a Small Laggard Economy: Railroad-Led Growth in Brazil," Journal of Economic History, Vol. 65, no. 1 (2005): 72-102.

"State bank transformation in Brazil – choices and consequences" (with Thorsten Beck and Juan Miguel Crivelli), Journal of Banking and Finance, Vol. 29, no. 8 (2005): 2223-2257.

“Order, Disorder, and Economic Change: Latin America vs. North America,” (with Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast), in Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Hilton Root, eds., Governing for Prosperity (Yale University Press, 2000).

"Market Intervention in a Backward Economy: Railway Subsidy in Brazil, 1854-1913,"Economic History Review, Vol. 53, no. 3 (1998): 542-568.

Work in progress:

"The Economic Impact of Education in Twentieth-Century Brazil" (with Samuel de Abreu Pessôa and Edmilson Varejão)

"From Quilimane to The City: Rio Slavers, London Bankers, and the Atlantic Origins of Representative Government in Brazil, 1796-1831"

"Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil"
[Download at SSRN]
[Download at Munich RePEc Archive]

"Productivity in the Paraiba Valley: Assessing Agricultural Efficiency in 19th-Century Brazil"
[Download at RePEc]

Graduate Students

(since 2005):

Thales Zamberlan Pereira (external dissertation supervisor), "The Cotton Trade and Brazilian Foreign Commerce During the Industrial Revolution," PhD, Universidade de São Paulo, 2017

Nilce Wicks, "Pathways to Freedom: Slavery and Emancipation in Nineteenth Century Ouro Preto," PhD, 2017

Cassia Roth (co-chair), "Miscarriage of Justice: Reproduction, Medicine, and the Law in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1890-1940)," PhD, 2016

Daniel Franken, "Growing Taller, yet Falling Short: Policy, Health, and Living Standards in Brazil, 1850-1950," PhD, 2016

John G. Farrell, "Southern Exposure: Latin Americans view the United States (1783-1900)," PhD, 2015

Molly Ball, "Inequality in São Paulo's Old Republic: a wage perspective, 1891-1930," PhD, 2013

Joseph J. Ryan, "Credit Where Credit is Due: Lending and Borrowing in Rio de Janeiro, 1820-1900," PhD, 2007

Hillel Eyal (co-chair), "Colonizing the Colonizer: Spanish Immigrants and Creoles in late colonial Mexico City," PhD, 2006

Cláudio Djissey Shikida (external dissertation supervisor), "Mercados, Política, e Conflitos: Ensaios sobre a História Econômica Luso-Brasileira," PhD, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 2003

Current Courses by Term

2017 Fall Quarter

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

Previous Courses by Term

2017 Fall Quarter

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

2017 Spring Quarter

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

2017 Winter Quarter

Topics in Latin American History

Modern Brazil

2016 Fall Quarter

Topics in History: Latin America

2016 Spring Quarter

Topics in Latin American History

Modern Brazil

2016 Winter Quarter

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

Topics in History: Latin America

2015 Winter Quarter

Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

Topics in History: Latin America

2014 Fall Quarter

Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in Latin American History

Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

2014 Winter Quarter

Topics in World History

Topics in History: Latin America

2013 Fall Quarter

Topics in World History

Modern Brazil

2013 Spring Quarter

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

Topics in History: Latin America

2013 Winter Quarter

Brazil and Atlantic World, 1500 to 1822

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

2012 Summer Session

Modern Brazil

2012 Winter Quarter

Brazil and Atlantic World, 1500 to 1822

Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

2011 Fall Quarter

Research Group Seminars: Global Studies

Modern Brazil

Topics in History: Latin America

2011 Summer Session

Modern Brazil

2010 Fall Quarter

Research Group Seminars: Global Studies

2009 Fall Quarter

Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in Latin American History

Topics in History: Latin America

2009 Summer Session

Modern Brazil

2008 Fall Quarter

Undergraduate Variable Topics Research Seminars: History -- Latin America

Topics in History: Latin America

2008 Spring Quarter

Modern Brazil

Topics in History: Latin America

2008 Winter Quarter

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

Undergraduate Variable Topics Research Seminars: History -- Latin America

Topics in History: Latin America

2006 Summer Session

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

2006 Spring Quarter

Modern Brazil

Topics in History: Latin America

2006 Winter Quarter

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: World History

2004 Spring Quarter

Modern Brazil

Undergraduate Seminar: Latin America

2004 Winter Quarter

Brazil and Atlantic World, 1500 to 1822

Topics in History: Latin America

2003 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2003 Summer Session

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

2003 Spring Quarter

Modern Brazil

Interdisciplinary Topics in Latin American Studies

2003 Winter Quarter

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

Topics in History: Latin America

Fiat Lux Seminar

2002 Summer Session

Modern Brazil

2002 Spring Quarter

Modern Brazil

2002 Winter Quarter

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

Undergraduate Seminar

Seminar: Latin American History, 19th and 20th Centuries

2001 Spring Quarter

Undergraduate Seminar

2001 Winter Quarter

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930 (Honors)

Modern Brazil

2000 Fall Quarter

Topics in History: Latin America

Previous Courses by Course

HIST 191E
Capstone Seminar: History -- Latin America

2017 Fall Quarter

2017 Spring Quarter

2016 Winter Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

HIST 161
Topics in Latin American History

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

HIST 162A
Modern Brazil

2017 Winter Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

2012 Summer Session

2011 Fall Quarter

2011 Summer Session

2009 Summer Session

2008 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

HIST 201I
Topics in History: Latin America

2016 Fall Quarter

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

2008 Fall Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

2004 Winter Quarter

2003 Winter Quarter

2000 Fall Quarter

HIST C208B
Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

2015 Winter Quarter

HIST C101B
Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

2015 Winter Quarter

HIST C101A
Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

2014 Fall Quarter

HIST 97E
Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in Latin American History

2014 Fall Quarter

2009 Fall Quarter

HIST C208A
Variable Topics: Interdisciplinary Studies

2014 Fall Quarter

HIST 101
Topics in World History

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Fall Quarter

HIST 162B
Brazil and Atlantic World, 1500 to 1822

2013 Winter Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

GLBL ST 194
Research Group Seminars: Global Studies

2011 Fall Quarter

2010 Fall Quarter

HIST 191E
Undergraduate Variable Topics Research Seminars: History -- Latin America

2008 Fall Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

HIST 8B
Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930

2008 Winter Quarter

2006 Summer Session

2006 Winter Quarter

2003 Summer Session

2003 Winter Quarter

2002 Winter Quarter

2001 Winter Quarter

HIST 191O
Undergraduate Variable Topics Seminars: World History

2006 Winter Quarter

HIST 197E
Undergraduate Seminar: Latin America

2004 Spring Quarter

HIST 173
Modern Brazil

2004 Spring Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

2002 Summer Session

2002 Spring Quarter

2001 Winter Quarter

HIST 174
Brazil and Atlantic World, 1500 to 1822

2004 Winter Quarter

HIST 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2003 Fall Quarter

LATN AM 250C
Interdisciplinary Topics in Latin American Studies

2003 Spring Quarter

HNRS 98
Fiat Lux Seminar

2003 Winter Quarter

HIST 267A
Seminar: Latin American History, 19th and 20th Centuries

2002 Winter Quarter

HIST 197G
Undergraduate Seminar

2002 Winter Quarter

HIST 197P
Undergraduate Seminar

2001 Spring Quarter

HIST 8BH
Political Economy of Latin American Underdevelopment, 1750 to 1930 (Honors)

2001 Winter Quarter