Department of History

Jeffrey L. Gould

  • Rudy Professor, Department of History
  • Former Director (1995-2008), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies


  • Ph.D. at Yale University, 1988

Contact Information

Ballantine 829
(812) 855-6934


Jeffrey L. Gould

My work deals with Central American social movements, ethnic conflicts and political violence. My first book analyzes the rise of peasant and labor movements in Somocista Nicaragua. My second book deals with the development of the myth of mestizaje in Nicaragua and the simultaneous assaults on indigenous communities in central and western Nicaragua. My current project deals with the mobilization and massacre of Indians and peasants in El Salvador. This project derives from a National Edowment for the Humanities collaborative project that I co-directed with Charles Hale and Darío Euraque. That project, which dealt with the problems of ethnic identity and violence in Central America, involved 15 Central American scholars. I also co-directed and co-produced “Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932.” (Icarus, 2003), a 53-minute documentary film. I recently finished La Palabra en el Bosque (Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2012), a 56-minute film that deals with the impact of Liberation Theology in Morazan, El Salvador and the origins of the civil war.

Selected Awards

  • Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, 2012-13.
  • Award of Merit for “Scars of Memory,” Latin American Studies Association (2003)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2002)
  • Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship (2001)
  • James Robertson Prize (1994)
  • Rockefeller Fellowship in Humanities (1991)
  • SSRC Fellowship (1990)

Research Interests

  • Central America: social movements, ethnic relations

Courses Recently Taught

  • Revolution and Counterrevolution in Latin America
  • Race and Racism in Latin America

Publication Highlights


To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-32 (co authored with Aldo Lauria), Duke University Press, 2008.

To Lead as Equals: Rural Protest and Political Consciousness in Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1912-1979. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

To Die in This Way: Nicaraguan Indian Communities and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998.

[Co-editor] Memorias de Mestizaje: la política cultural en América Central desde 1900. CIRMA, 2004)