Hal Langfur


Hal Langfur.

Hal Langfur


Hal Langfur



History of Latin America and the Caribbean; History of Brazil; The Atlantic World; Indigenous History; Imperialism and Colonialism; Social and Cultural History; Transnational History


  • PhD, University of Texas, 1999
  • MA, University of Texas, 1995
  • AB, Harvard, magna cum laude, 1982

Courses Regularly Taught

HIS 143: Global Inequality and Power
HIS 328: History of Brazil
HIS 302: History of Colonial Latin America
HIS 409: Voyages of Discovery
HIS 433: Latin American Native Peoples
HIS 454: The Atlantic World
HIS 506: North and South Atlantic World Core Seminar
HIS 550: Frontiers and Borderlands
HIS 559: Colonial Latin American History Core Seminar
HIS 606: Transnational Research Seminar

Research Interests

Colonial and post-independence Brazil; early modern Iberian Atlantic; race relations; comparative indigenous history; cross-cultural encounters; cultures of violence; narratives of conquest and discovery; science and empire; state formation and territorialization.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book entitled “Adrift on an Inland Sea: The Projection of Portuguese Power in the Brazilian Wilderness,” which explores the accomplishments, limitations, transformation, and ultimate dissolution of Portugal’s colonial enterprise as it stretched from Lisbon deep into the Brazilian backlands.

Selected Publications


The Forbidden Lands: Colonial Identity, Frontier Violence, and the Persistence of Brazil's Eastern Indians, 1750-1830.   (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006. Paperback, 2009.)

Native Brazil: Beyond the Convert and the Cannibal, 1500-1900 , edited by H. Langfur, (University of New Mexico Press, 2014)


“Cannibalism and the Body Politic: Independent Indians in the Era of Brazilian Independence.” Ethnohistory 65, no. 4 (Oct. 2018): 549-73.

“Canibalismo e a legitimidade da guerra justa na época da Independência.” Revista Brasileira de História 37, no. 75 (May - Aug. 2017): 119-43.

"Frontier/Fronteira: A Transnational Reframingof Brazil's Inland Colonization," History Compass 12:11 (Nov. 2014): 843-52.

“Elite Ethnography and Indian Eradication: Confronting the Cannibal in Early Nineteenth-Century Brazil.” In Contesting Knowledge: Museums and Indigenous Perspectives, ed. Susan Sleeper-Smith (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009), 15-44.

“Minas Expansionista, Minas Mestiça: a resistência dos índios em Minas Gerais do século do ouro,” with Maria Leônia Chaves de Resende, Anais de História de Além-Mar (Lisbon): 9 (2008): 79-103.

“Colonial Brazil.” In A Companion to Latin American History, ed. Thomas H. Holloway (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007): 89-105.

"The Return of the Bandeira: Economic Calamity, Historical Memory, and Armed Expeditions to the Sertão in Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1750-1808," The Americas 61:4 (April 2005): 429-62.

"Moved by Terror: Frontier Violence as Cultural Exchange in Late-Colonial Brazi," Ethnohistory 52:2 (spring 2005): 255-89.

With Stuart B. Schwartz. "Tapanhuns, Negros da Terra, and Curibocas: Common Cause and Confrontation between Blacks and Indians in Colonial Brazil" in Black and Red: African-Indigenous Relations in Colonial Latin America, ed. Matthew Restall (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2005), 81-114.

"Uncertain Refuge: Frontier Formation and the Origins of the Botocudo War in Late-Colonial Brazil," Hispanic American Historical Review 82:2 (May 2002): 215-56. "Best Article" on Latin America award, 2001-2, Southern Historical Association.

"Myths of Pacification: Brazilian Frontier Settlement and the Subjugation of the Bororo Indians," Journal of Social History 32:4 (Summer 1999): 879-905.


  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago, 2012
  • R. David Parsons / Donald L. Saunders Research Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University in Providence, RI, 2013
  • Humanities Institute Research Fellowship, University at Buffalo, fall 2010
  • Forbidden Lands received an “honorable mention” for the Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize by the American Society for Ethnohistory for the best book-length work in the field of ethnohistory published in 2006.
  • Forbidden Lands received an “honorable mention” for the 2007 Warren Dean Prize by the Conference on Latin American History for the best book or article on Brazilian history
  • Paul Vanderwood Prize for the best Article on Latin American History, Conference on Latin American History, 2006
  • Tibesar Prize for Best Article in The Americas, Conference on Latin American History, 2005
  • Fulbright Lecturing/Research Grant, Universidade Federal de São João del Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2005.
  • Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research, American Historical Association, 2003.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, RI, 2001-2002.
  • Kimberly S. Hanger Article Prize for best article on Latin America, Southern Historical Association, 2001-2002