UNCW Sherman Lecture to Discuss Conservatism and Social War in Modern Brazil

Friday, October 04, 2019

José Juan Pérez Meléndez, a professor of history at UC Davis and historian of Latin America and the Atlantic, will deliver the 2019 Sherman Lecture, “The Intimate Enemy: Conservatives and Social War in Modern Brazil,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Warwick Center. The free event, part of the Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture Series, is presented by the UNCW Department of History and is open to the public.

“Dr. Meléndez will discuss the political transformations of Brazil from imperial monarchy to popular democracy,” said department chair Lynn Wood Mollenauer. “His lecture will explore the ways in which state violence against those labeled ‘public enemies’ helped Brazil's governing circles maintain their hold on power. It will also analyze how this legitimizing tactic by Brazil's elites has underwritten modernizing projects and masked continued social exclusion. Studying the workings of democratic governments is particularly relevant at a time when so many democratic institutions across the world are being challenged.”

Meléndez’s research centers on the political, business and migratory dynamics that have shaped governmental mechanisms of population control and transport in the Americas.

The Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture Series was endowed by Phillip Sherman and Ann Sherman-Skiba and their spouses in honor of their parents, Virginia and Derrick Sherman. The series provides an opportunity for promising scholars to share their research with a connected community of lifelong learners.

“Events such as the Sherman Emerging Scholar Lecture not only provide information but encourage critical thinking and reflection about both current and past events,” said Mollenauer. “Societies like ours thrive when they are peopled by well-informed citizens of the world who have perspective and empathy for people in the past and who tolerate ambiguity and other points of view.”

Key priorities of UNCW’s Strategic Plan focus on applied learning experiences and promoting an engaged and diverse community of learners. 

-- Christina Schechtman