Gillian A McGillivray

Associate Professor


McGillivray’s commitment to comparative studies and micro-history combined with her gravitation toward early twentieth century developments—war, boom, and bust at the global level and nationalism, populism, and revolution at the local level—motivated her book, "Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State-Formation in Cuba, 1868-1958" (Duke Univ, 2009), her edited volume "The Entangled Labor Histories of Brazil and the United States" (Lexington, 2023), and her current research on "Sugar and Power in Brazil."





Social Development and Welfare


Georgetown University, 2002
Georgetown University, 1997


MITACS Globalink Research Internship (for May-August 2022) “Sugar Workers, Farmers, and Factory Owners in the Struggle for Power in Brazil, 1880-1965.” Intern: Patrine Oliveira, fully funded for 3 months.

Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean President’s Fund for Black, Indigenous, and EDI Research, $4,000 (PI, used to hire RA Luah Tomas)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 3-year Standard Research Grant, "Sugar and Power in the Brazilian Countryside, 1900-1964" (2009-2013)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Postdoctoral Grant, "Sugar, Populism, and Revolution in Cuba, Mexico, and Brazil, 1900-1964" (2002-2004)

please see c.v. 


Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State Formation in Cuba, 1868-1959 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009)

The Entangled Labor Histories of Brazil and the United States (Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington, 2023), co-edited with Thomas D. Rogers, Alexandre Fortes, and Fernando Teixeira da Silva

Journal Articles

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • “Ascensão e queda do pacto populista em Cuba, 1934-1959," Revista Tempo 33 (January 2013): 105-140.
  • "Revolution in the Cuban Countryside: The Blazing Cane of Las Villas, 1895-1898," Cuban Studies, 38 (2007): 50-81. 
  • "'Dear President Machado: Colono nationalism in Cuba's turbulent 1920s and 1930s," Journal of Caribbean History, 37, 1 (2003): 70-109
  • "Trading With the Enemy": Canadian-Cuban Relations in the 1990s," Cuba Briefing Paper Series, Georgetown University Caribbean Project, 15 (December 1997): 1-16.  
Book Chapters

2023    “Real Labor Movements, Imagined Revolutions: The Northeastern Brazilian Sugar Zone through US Eyes, 1955-1964,” co-authored with Thomas D. Rogers, in The Entangled Labor Histories of Brazil and the United States. Washington, DC: Rowman & Littlefield Lexington Books. pp. 203-238 

2023    “Introduction: Connections, Comparisons, Inspirations—Overcoming a Dichotomous View of the History of Labor in the United States and Brazil,” co-authored with Fernando Teixeira da Silva, Alexandre Fortes, and Thomas D. Rogers, in The Entangled Labor Histories of Brazil and the United States. Washington, DC: Rowman & Littlefield Lexington Books.  pp. 1-8

2021    “Café com açúcar: homens, mulheres, e capital nas regiões canavieiras de São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro,” in O rural em América Latina: perspectivas, edited by Vanderlei Vazelesk Ribeiro and Maria Verónica Secreto de Ferreras. Rio de Janeiro: Fino Traço. pp. 195-222

2020    “Classe em Formação, revolução na imaginação: Trabalhadores canavieiros no Nordeste Brasileiro em anos de tumulto, 1955-1964,” co-authored with Thomas D. Rogers, in Trabalho & Labor: Histórias compartilhadas, Brasil e Estados UnidosSéculo XX, edited by Fernando Teixeira da Silva and Alexandre Fortes. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Sagga. pp. 205-239

2015    “Cuba: Depresión, imperialismo y revolución, 1920-1940,” in La Gran Depresión en América Latina, edited by Paulo Drinot and Alan Knight. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica. pp. 308-346

2014    “Cuba: Depression, Imperialism and Revolution, 1920-1940,” in The Great Depression in Latin America. Ed. Paulo Drinot and Alan Knight. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 246-275

2015    “Populism in the Circum-Caribbean, 1920-1940,” co-authored with Thomas D. Rogers, in Transformations of Populism in Europe and the Americas: History and Recent Tendencies, edited by John Abromeit, Bridget María Chesterton, Gary Marotta and York Norman. New York: Bloomsbury Academic Press. pp. 153-177

2008    “Reading Revolution from Below: Cuba, 1933 and 1959,” in Latin America from the Wars of Independence to the Drug Wars. Westport, Ct: Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 203-234

Other Publications

  • "'Es que los compañeros son machistas [our comrades are too macho]': women's struggle for change in Sandinista Nicaragua," Georgetown University: MA Thesis, 1997).
  • 2011    “Cuban Wars for Independence,” Gale World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean, Portal and Archive. Editor in Chief: Erick D. Langer (Gale Press: Belmont, CA) doi:
  • Please see c.v.    

2023    Nominated and Elected Advisory Board Member for the Luso-Brazilian Review (University of Wisconsin Press, 4-year term)

2020    Nominated and Elected Chair, Brazil Section of the Conference of Latin American Historians (Secretary, 2019)

2019    Nominated and Elected Area Editor for The Americas (Cambridge University Press journal, 6-year term)

2014    Chaire Dupront, visiting professor at Sorbonne Paris IV (month of April)

2010    Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award for solo-authored monograph: Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State Formation in Cuba, 1868-1959. Duke University Press, 2009. 386 pp. 

Selected as one of four finalists for the 2009 Canadian Historical Association’s “Wallace K. Ferguson Prize” for the outstanding scholarly book in a field of history other than Canadian.

2003    Glassman Award for Best Dissertation in the Humanities at Georgetown

1998    Winner, International Essay Contest on Peace & Security in the Americas FLACSO-Chile / Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, US$1500

1994    Highest Achievement in Spanish, University Award, Dalhousie

see CV