Glendon associate professor of history Gillian A. McGillivray delves into Latin America’s past through the lens of sugar. The result is her book Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State Formation in Cuba, 1868-1959.
Gillian McGillivray became fascinated by Latin American culture in high school after reading a novel by Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian writer. After earning her master’s in Latin American studies and PhD in history at Georgetown University, McGillivray, an associate professor of history at Glendon, began delving into Latin America’s past through the lens of sugar.
Her first book, Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class, and State Formation in Cuba, 1868-1959 (Duke, 2009), considered the origins of the industry, slavery and colonialism and discussed how and why sugar workers contributed to the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959. Now, McGillivray has turned her gaze toward Brazil and the insights to be gleaned about politics and culture through sugar. She hopes to publish Sugar and Power in Brazil in 2023.
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