Linda Lewin

Professor Emerita

Research Interests

racesocial history of 19th and 20th century Brazil—family and kinship; illegitimacy and inheritance rights; banditry (emergence of cangaco); slavery and color; oral poetic tradition in NE region (repentistasdesafio); cotton production in 19th-century NE Brazil


B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D., Columbia University

Representative Publications

"A Tale of Two Texts: Orality, Oral History, and Poetic Insult in the Desafio of Romano and Inacio in Patos (1874)," Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 26 (2007): 1-25.

Surprise Heirs: Vol. 1, Illegitimacy, Patrimonial Rights, and Legal Nationalism in Luso-Brazilian Inheritance (1750-1821);
 Vol. 2, Illegitimacy, Inheritance Rights, and Public Power in the Formation of Imperial Brazil (1822-1889); Stanford University Press, 2003.

"The Oligarchical Limitations of Social Banditry in Brazil: The Case of the 'Good' Thief Antonio Silvino," Past and Present, 82 (Feb.1979): 231-62.

Politics and Parentela in Paraiba: A Case Study of Family-Based Politics in Brazil (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987).

"Natural and Spurious Children in Brazilian Inheritance Law from Colony to Empire: A Methodological Essay," The Americas XLVIII (January 1992), 351-96.

"Who Was 'o Grande Romano'? Genealogical Purity, the Indian 'Past,' and Whiteness in Brazil's Northeast Backlands, 1750-1900," Journal of Latin American Lore 19 (1996):129-179.

Book Cover: Surprise Heirs I