Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Zachary Morgan

Zachary Morgan

Associate Professor of Latin American History and African American Studies

215 Weaver Building

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 863-8080


PhD, Brown University, 2001
MA, Brown University, 1994
BA, Hunter College-CUNY 1992
Zachary Morgan Headshot


I am a modern Latin American historian and work on race, abolition, and slavery focusing primarily on Brazil in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as the African diaspora throughout the Americas.  My first book was Legacy of the Lash: Race and Corporal Punishment in the Brazilian Navy and the Atlantic World (Indiana University Press, “Blacks in the Diaspora” series, 2014). It is an examination of organized resistance among Afro-Brazilian sailors to the ongoing abuse they endured in the navy at the hands of the Brazilian state. The book’s cornerstone is an exploration of the four-day Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Lash) of November 1910, during which nearly half of Rio de Janeiro’s enlisted men rebelled against the use of corporal punishment in the navy. I argue that the uprising is best understood in the context of Atlantic slave rebellions rather than exclusively as a modern military revolt.

I am currently working on a research project (tentatively titled Forced Labor in Brazil’s Age of Abolition: State Control of Free Afro-Brazilians during the Empire and Early Republic) that examines the means by which the Brazilian state (in conjunction with state-run institutions such as the army, navy, legislature, police force and orphanages) coerced Brazil’s growing free-black population into continued labor as the institution of Atlantic slavery collapsed during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Before coming to Penn State in 2016 I taught in the American Studies Department at University of New Mexico, and in the History Departments at Boston College and William Paterson University.

Recent Publications:

Legacy of the Lash: Race & Corporal Punishment in the Brazilian Navy and the Atlantic World (Indiana University Press, “Blacks in the Diaspora” series, 2014)

“The Military in Modern Latin America” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Latin American Studies, Ed. Ben Vinson III, New York: Oxford University Press, 10-28-2011,

co-authored with Jerry Davila “Since Black into White: Thomas Skidmore on Brazilian Race Relations” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, (V. 64, N. 3,  Jan. 2008)

“Legislating the Lash: Race and the Conflicting Modernities of Enlistment and Corporal Punishment in the Brazilian Military during the Empire,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History V.5, N.2, Fall 2004

“Brazil:  The Revolt of the Lash, 1910” in Twentieth Century Naval Mutinies (Frank Cass Publisher, 2003) Eds. Bruce Elleman and Christopher Bell

Awards & Fellowships:

Non-resident Fellow, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University (2014)
NEH Summer Institute, Johns Hopkins University (2009)
Faculty Incentive Grant, Boston College, College of Arts & Science (2009)
Career Enhancement Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Princeton University (2003)

Areas of Specialization: