James N. Green
Professor of History and Brazilian Studies:
History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies
Phone: +1 401 863 1394
James N. Green works on the political, social and, and cultural history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Brazil. His books include: We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States(Duke, 2010) and Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-century Brazil (University of Chicago, 1999). He is currently working on a biography of Herbert Daniel, a Brazilian guerrilla leader, political exile, and AIDS activist.
James N. Green received his doctorate in Latin American history at UCLA in 1996. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and lived eight years in Brazil. He served as the Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown University from 2005 to 2008. He is a past president of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) and served as the President of the New England Council on Latin American Studies (NECLAS)in 2008 and 2009.
We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States. Duke University Press, 2010.
This political history of relations between the United States and Brazil during the 1960s and 1970s analyzes the various campaigns organized by clergy, exiles, and academics against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Linking activities in the United States to the political and social history of Brazil over two decades, this study argues that the different efforts to denounce human rights violations in Brazil prepared the groundwork for broader movements against authoritarian regimes in Central and South America in the 1970s and 1980s.
New Research Projects:
Exiles within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Brazilian Gay Revolutionary
Historical accounts of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 gen-erally focus on political history and the militant armed opposition. Most narratives offer heroic visions of those who resisted authoritarian rule without examining tensions, complexities, and contradictions embedded in the leftwing political culture that dominated opposition to the gener-als. Similarly, many Brazilian politicians who participated in the armed struggle, including President Dilma Rousseff, have glossed over their past militancy, creating simplified stories about idealist youth who had fought for democracy rather than for revolutionary change. Exiles within Exiles seeks to problematize these glorified and revisionist historical representations through a critical biography of Herbert Daniel, a forgotten leader in the Brazilian left. Based on oral histories, archival sources, and other documentation, this project explores the complex life story of a protagonist who personifies many of the contradictory political, social, and cultural crosscurrents that were characteristic of oppositional forces in late twentieth-century Brazil.
While in medical school, Herbert Daniel (1946-1992) recognized his homoerotic desires. He also discovered leftwing politics. Eager to be involved in student activism, he repressed his sexuality to join a clandestine organization whose Marxist members considered homosexuality immoral and inappropriate for a revolutionary. It was his first self-described internal exile. In 1970, he participated in the kidnapping of the German and Swiss ambassadors to obtain the re-lease of 110 political prisoners. Soon thereafter, police dismantled his underground organization. Cut off from others, he embarked on a second internal exile. Living clandestinely, he read vora-ciously and rethought his politics. Four years later, Daniel slipped out of Brazil, embarking on a European exile, his third exile. He drafted his memoirs and challenged the homophobic assump-tions of the Brazilian left by organizing a heated public debate about homosexuality that polarized Brazilian exile organizations. Returning to Brazil in 1981, he unsuccessfully ran for the state assembly of Rio de Janeiro on a platform emphasizing new but controversial ideas such as gay rights, feminism, and environmental justice. He then took up the fight to end discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS. Daniel died of AIDS in 1992.
This biography provides a vehicle for investigating cultural and social aspects of radical opposition to the military regime, its aftermath, and its legacy by exploring how constructions of gender and sexuality intersected with revolutionary politics. It also offers a theoretical frame-work for understanding political and social manifestations of homophobia within the left through examining what I term "revolutionary masculinity" as an integral component of Latin American Marxist ideology. From Che Guevara's formulations about the "New Man" to self-images and symbolic popular iterations after his death, this gendered representation also draws upon tradi-tional Catholic notions of masculinity and sacrifice, forms of patriarchy, and uncritical appropri-ations of pervasive medical discourses. Daniel's lonely trajectory within the left, his internal ex-ile of repressing his desires, and the bitter debates that ensued when he revealed his homosexu-ality, unveil ways that revolutionary masculinity, with its patriarchal and sexist notions of nor-mativity, was an integral part of radical oppositional identity in the 1960s and 1970s.
The transition to democracy created novel challenges for the Brazilian left. Many revolu-tionaries turned to electoral politics and gained significant influence. New issues arose, among them feminism, black consciousness, and environmental concerns. Daniel became a bridge link-ing former revolutionaries to new social movements. Through his writing and activism, he re-mained situated between class and identity politics, engendering a dialogue between seemingly divergent perspectives. When he discovered he was HIV+, he articulated a political discourse that emphasized radical participatory activism and interventionist government AIDS policies. Though he died before his proposals were fully implemented, his political legacy continues, as the ideas he formulated became integrated into international models for AIDS prevention and treatment.
FUTURE RESEARCH PROJECTS:
Generation 77: Brazil and the Forging of an Anti-Dictatorship Movement
While completing the final archival research for Exiles within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay Brazilian Revolutionary, I began conducting interviews to write a history of the Brazilian student movement of the 1970s. Much has been written about the previous generation that mo-bilized against the Brazilian military dictatorship in 1968. In mid-December, the regime decreed Institutional Act No. 5 that closed Congress, increased censorship, and authorized the repression of opposition political forces. Over the next two years, the military and the political police an-nihilated the underground student organizations that had operated clandestinely since the 1964 coup d'etat. Some student leaders turned to the armed struggle as a strategic option for over-throwing the dictatorship, although these efforts were crushed by 1973. A new generation of high school and university students emerged in the mid-1970s and began reorganizing student asso-ciations and conducting semi-clandestine actions to revitalize mobilizations against the regime. In 1977, when five students activists from this new generation were arrested and tortured be-cause they were distributing leaflets in a working-class neighborhood of the industrial belt around the city of São Paulo, students responded by organizing the first massive public street demonstrations against the military regime in a decade.
This new generation, which I call Generation 77, was motivated by a variety of political, social, economic, and cultural influences that were significantly different from those that inspired youth to protest against the dictatorship in 1968. While an end to the authoritarian regime was encoded in that period's ubiquitous slogan "Down with the Dictatorship," students also em-braced another new chant calling for democratic rights. Unlike many student activists and leaders of the previous generation that had seen the end of the military regime as the prelude to a socialist revolution, a significant sector of radicalized youth of Generation 77 brought new ideas to the student movement that were linked to the demand for cultural and social changes, as well as political ones. As students protested in the streets against the regime, some of these activists sought new forms of political organization and a political agenda that addressed issues related to gender, race, sexuality, and the environment. These new ideas articulated by emergent move-ments among Brazilian youth upset what had been previously a pervasive paradigm among po-liticized students that considered these questions to be "secondary" and "divisive" in the fight against the dictatorship.
Whereas Exiles within Exiles examines the personal trajectory of an active participant in 1968 youth radicalization, "Generation 77: Brazil and the Forging of an Anti-Dictatorship Movement" will offer a social and cultural history of a new generation of rebellious youth that adopted new political agendas and introduced new content to public protest. The book will focus on student opposition to the military regime that was largely centered in São Paulo, the most dy-namic economic, political, and cultural region in the country. I will argue that the student mo-bilizations of 1976 to 1978 served as the incubator for budding social movements that focused on issues of personal identity and their relationship to politics and social change. Universities cam-puses and to a lesser extent theatres, served as a public space where this generation could meet to discuss question related to gender, race, sexuality, the environment, indigenous rights, land re-form, and other issues.
At the same time, the outburst of student protests played a crucial role in energizing the labor movement to carry out a strike wave from 1978 to 1980 that challenged the dictatorships economic and labor policies and set the stage for the formation of a new political leadership em-bodied in the trade union leader and future Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Schol-ars working on this period have seen the student movement of the late 1970s as merely a prelude to the emergence of new social movements in Brazil in the 1980s without analyzing the direct influences of the former and the latter. Nor have historians adequately analyzed the complex interactions between the student movement and other social movements that developed in the period to offer a more comprehensive analysis of the slow-motion transition to democracy be-tween 1974 and 1985. As in my previous works, I will combine oral histories with written sour-ces that will allow me to craft an inclusive analysis that integrates economic, social, political, and cultural factors in explaining the emergence and impact of Generation 77 on this crucial period in recent Brazilian history.
Brasil Grande: The History of Brazil's Aspirations to Become a World Power.
A subsequent research project is provisionally entitled "Brasil Grande: The History of Brazil's Aspirations to Become a World Power." I intend to argue that as early as the sixteenth century the Portuguese and other colonial powers recognized the economic and political potential of this continent-sized area of Latin America. Within the colony itself, priests, intellectuals, and economic elites articulated the importance of Brazil to the Portuguese empire and offered diverse notions about its immense possibilities. During the late eighteenth century, local and regional rebels denounced the relationship of the Crown to its most important colony, arguing that Portu-gal had bled the country of its riches while offering little in return. Debates on both sides of the Atlantic about whether or not Rio de Janeiro should be the capital of the Portuguese empire in the early nineteenth century again emphasized Brazil's potential greatness. After Brazil became an independent state and established an Empire in 1822, new wealth produced by coffee produc-tion refuelled discussions about how to modernize the newly formed nation and harness its po-tential. Debates about industrialization, Brazil's role in Latin America, and its relationship to the United States and Europe in the late nineteenth and twentieth century constantly relied on this underlying but seemingly never achievable promise for the country. Until recently Brazilians have cynically joked that Brazil is the land of the future and always will be. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, political stability and favorable economic conditions have provided the framework for renewed optimism among Brazilian politicians and intellectuals about Brazil's potential.
This research project will analyze the diverse ideas about Brazil that developed in colo-nial and nineteenth-century Brazil and examine their relation to notions presented by twentieth-century intellectuals and politicians, and promoted in popular cultural about the potential of a modernizing Brazil. The book will begin with a study of early Portuguese travel accounts, re-ports by royal officials concerning the colony's economic possibilities, and debates in the eight-eenth century about whether or not Rio de Janeiro should become the capital of the Portuguese Empire. The work then will look at Imperial Brazil's self-perceptions in relationship to the rest of Latin America, Europe, and the United States in the nineteenth century, the emergence of the nation as an international actor in the early twentieth-century, and its role as a member of the Al-lied effort in World War II. The last third of the book will consider the country's position during the Cold War, its economic development under democratic and dictatorial regimes, and its new confidence in projecting itself as a budding world power in recent years.
Ph.D., Latin American History
2010 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
2010 American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship
2010 Book Award of Merit, Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section Prize for Apesar de vocês: oposição à ditadura militar nos Estados Unidos, 1964-85
2009 Brown University, Teaching with Technology Award for History of Brazil course
2008 Karen T. Romer Award for Excellence in Advising, Brown University
2008 Jon M. Tolman Prize for Best Conference Paper, Brazilian Studies Association, "'Restless Youth': The 1968 Brazilian Student Movement as seen from Washington."
2006 Cidadania em Respeito à Diversidade [Citizenship Respecting Diversity] Book Award for Homossexualismo em São Paulo e outros (São Paulo: Editora da UNESP, 2005) São Paulo, Brazil.
2001 Cidadania em Respeito à Diversidade [Citizenship Respecting Diversity] Book Award for Além do carnaval: a homossexualidade masculina no Brasil do século XX (Editora da UNESP, 2000) São Paulo, Brazil.
2001 Martin Duberman Award, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Graduate Program, City University of New York for book proposal: "More Love and More Desire": A History of the Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Movement."
2000 Lambda Literary Foundation/Paul Monette-Roger Horwitz Trust Award for Emergent Scholars for Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil (University of Chicago Press, 1999).
1999 Hubert Herring Book Award of the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies for Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil.
1998 Sprague Prize, Committee on Lesbian and Gay History of the American Historical Association, for outstanding doctoral dissertation chapter.
1996 Ken Dawson Award, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York, for outstanding research in gay and lesbian history.
1996 UCLA Lambda Alumni Award for outstanding research in gay and lesbian history.
American Historical Association (AHA)
Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA), Past President
Conference on Latin American History, American Historical Association
Consortium on Brazilian Studies (COBRAS), National Co-Coordinator
Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
New England Council on Latin American Studies (NECLAS), Past President
Colonial Latin America
Comparative Labor History: U.S. and Latin America
Gay and Lesbian History
Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
Gender, Race and Culture in Latin American Historiography
History of Argentina
History of Brazil
History of Brazil through Film and Literature
History of Latin American Historiography
History of Mexico
History of Rio de Janeiro
History of Sexuality in the Western World
Latin America in the Nineteenth Century
Latin American Nations [Nineteenth and Twentieth Century]
Latin American Revolutions in the Twentieth Century
Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Early Latin America
Politics and Culture during the Brazilian Military Dictatorship
Recent Historiography on Brazilian Social and Cultural History
Recent Latin American Historiography
Slavery and Race in Latin America
Theories and Methodologies of History
Tropical Delights: Imagining Brazil in History and Culture
Women and Gender in Latin America
2010-2011 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for the research project, "Exiles within Exiles: Herbert Daniel, Gay Brazilian Revolutionary"
2010 American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship to do field research for the project "Exiles within Exiles."
2003-2004 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (NEH) for the research project, "The Crossroads of Sin and the Collision of Cultures: Pleasure and Popular Entertainment in Rio de Janeiro, 1860-1920."
2002-2003 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship to write manuscript for the book project, "We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States".
2001-2002 Martin Duberman Fellowship, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Graduate Program, City University of New York for book proposal: "More Love and More Desire": A History of the Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Movement."
2000 Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher Fellowship, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Graduate Program, Department of History.