Hugh Cagle

  • Master of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Kansas, 2006

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Hugh Cagle came to the MA program after working and studying in Spain. He was interested in nineteenth and early twentieth-century literature, the ebb of Spanish imperialism, and in cultural difference. At KU he took classes in history, sociology, literature, and political science. It was that interdisciplinary perspective, combined with an introduction to Portuguese, tremendous support from KU faculty, and a series of papers on cross-cultural interaction in colonial Brazil that made all the difference. FLAS fellowships took him to Brazil for a summer of research in Rio and language study in Vitória. Cagle wrote a thesis (“The Genealogy of an Atlantic World Order”) under the direction of Elizabeth Kuznesof, Anton Rosenthal, Mehrangiz Najafizadeh, and Gregory Cushman that traced the racialization of slavery in colonial Brazil. Then, with an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a growing concern with questions of race and slavery, and an abiding interest in transatlantic perspectives, Cagle went on to get a PhD in history at Rutgers University. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Utah, where he teaches classes on Brazil, colonial Latin America, and the history of science. His work is still marked by a concern for historical debates and a penchant for comparison, though now the debates are over medicine and disease rather than race and slavery, and the comparisons are global, linking colonial Latin America to both African and Asia. He is revising a book manuscript about the field of intellectual inquiry now referred to as “tropical medicine” as it emerged in Portugal’s equatorial colonies between 1450 and 1750. From Lisbon to London, and from Salt Lake City to Salvador da Bahia, Cagle never fails to meet scholars, journalists, musicians, and many others with ties to Lawrence. And support and friendships begun at KU continue wherever he goes.