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Thomas Jordan

Thomas Jordan
Thomas Jordan
Associate Professor and Coordinator for Policy, Communication and Issues of Concern

Latin America
Office Phone: 618-650-2414

Location: Peck Hall Room 1232 and the Office of the Provost (Rendleman Hall Room 3102)


Ph. D. University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) (2000 - History)

Dissertation: "Contesting the Terms of Incorporation: Labor and the State in Rio de Janeiro,

1930-1964." Thesis directed by Dr. Joseph Love, Dr. Nils Jacobsen, and Dr. James Barrett.

M.A. University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) (1993 - History)

B.A. Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas), (1989 - Economics)

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville, IL), August 2000 to present.

Assistant Professor at Blackburn College (Carlinville, IL), 1999-2000.

Course Offerings

IS 326 Modern Latin America (team-taught interdisciplinary course on Latin America)

Hist 112A World History to 1500

Hist 112B World History since 1500

Hist 360A History of Latin America - Colonial Period

Hist 360B History of Latin America - 19th and 20th Centuries

Hist 400 Topics: History of Brazil

Hist 400 Topics: History of Cuba

Hist 460 History of Mexico

When appropriate, I am willing to offer directed-reading courses for graduate students and direct senior or independent projects for advanced undergraduate students.

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, I am interested in twentieth-century Brazilian social history. My current research examines the role that urban labor played in local, regional, and national-level politics during the 1940 to 1964 period. Focusing on urban workers and their unions in the city of Rio de Janeiro, my

work traces the twenty-year transformation of Brazil's labor movement from a relatively weak and unorganized movement in the late 1940s into a major political force by the early 1960s. In this process, the city's labor unions challenged the government's restrictions on "legitimate" union activities by fortifying the government-sanctioned unions, creating new types of labor organizations, and forging alliances with local and national politicians. My recently completed dissertation, entitled "Contesting the Terms of Incorporation: Labor and the State in Rio de Janeiro, 1930-1964," looked at these issues by focusing on the activities of the textile and metalworkers'

unions in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Currently, I am broadening my study to look at the tactics used by other labor unions to accomplish these same goals.

Selected Publications and Paper Presentations


Review of Jeffrey Lesser's Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil (2000) on H-LATAM (

Review of Anthony W. Pereira's The End of the Peasantry: The Rural Labor Movement in Northeast Brazil, 1961-1988 (1997) on H-LATAM (

Review of John D. French's The Brazilian Workers' ABC: Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern São Paulo (1992) in Thematica: Historical Research and Review, 1:1 (1994), p.123-125.

Paper Presentations

"Redefining Proper Unionism: The Case of the Metalworkers' Union in Rio de Janeiro, 1950-1964." Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association annual meeting (Louisville, Kentucky, November 2000)

"Policing the Unions: Brazil's Political Police and Workers in Rio de Janeiro, 1930-1964." Paper presented at the Social Science History Association conference (Chicago, Nov. 1998)

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