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Queen's University

David Parker Parker2.jpg

Associate Professor
Latin America, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Phone: 613-533-6000, ext: 74358
Fax: 613-533-6298
Office: Watson Hall 206
Office Hours: by appt.


Ph.D. Stanford, History, 1991
M.A. Stanford, Latin American Studies, 1986
B.A. Wesleyan, 1982


Dr. Parker's research focuses on the social, cultural, and legal history of urban South America between 1850 and 1950. His 1998 book, The Idea of the Middle Class: White-Collar Workers and Peruvian Society, 1900-1950, has been excerpted or cited at length in numerous textbooks, anthologies, and monographs in both English and Spanish, and has become one of the standard resources for understanding middle class formation in Latin America. Dr. Parker has also written about public health reformers, social climbers, striking textile workers, and duelists. Specifically, his work on the duel in Uruguay tries to explain how dueling shaped the norms of politics and journalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and explores the tension between elites' embrace of the duel and their goal of establishing a political order based on the rule of law.

Courses Taught


HIST 286: Latin America 1850-Today: the Modern Era (lecture)
HIST 315: Modern Latin American History: Sources and Methods (year 2 core seminar)
HIST 461: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (seminar)
HIST 462: Modernization and Cultural Change in Latin America, 1850-1950 (seminar)
HIST 463: Liberalism, Authoritarianism and Citizenship in Latin America (seminar)
Queen's-Blyth Worldwide (Spain): HIST 330: Spain from Empire to Nation, 1492-1992


HIST 866: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (joint with HIST 461)
HIST 867: Modernization and Cultural Change... (joint with HIST 462)
HIST 888: Liberalism, Authoritarianism, and Citizenship.... (joint with HIST 463)
HIST 912: Graduate Directed Reading

Principal fields for graduate supervision: Urban South America 1850-1950 (Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile), middle class, public health, social policy, law and justice, race, citizenship, labour.

Major Publications


With Louise E. Walker, Latin America's Middle Class: Unsettled Debates and New Histories (Lanham MD: Lexington Books, 2013). Link to Publisher, Link to Google Books

The Idea of the Middle Class: White-Collar Workers and Peruvian Society, 1900-1950. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1998. link


Articles and Book Chapters

"Siúticos, huachafos, cursis, arribistas and gente de medio pelo:  Social climbers and the representation of class in Chile and Peru, 1860-1930," in A. Ricardo López and Barbara Weinstein, editors,The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Global History  (Durham:  Duke University Press, 2012). link

"Gentlemanly Responsibility and Insults of a Woman: Dueling and the Unwritten Rules of Public Life in Uruguay, 1860-1920," in Katherine Bliss and William French, eds., Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Latin America Since Independence. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.

"Middle-Class Mobilization and the Language of Orders in Urban Latin America: From Caste to Category in Early Twentieth-Century Lima," Journal of Urban History 31:3 (March 2005): 367-381. link

"Law, Honor, and Impunity in Spanish America: The Debate over Dueling, 1870-1920." Law and History Review 19:2 (Summer, 2001): 311-341. link

"Civilizing the City of Kings: Hygiene and Housing in Lima." In Cities of Hope: People, Protests, and Progress in Urbanizing Latin America, 1870-1930, eds. Ronn F. Pineo and James A. Baer. Boulder: Westview Press, 1998: 153-178. link

"Peruvian Politics and the Eight-Hour Day: Rethinking the 1919 General Strike." Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire 30: 3 (Dec. 1995): 417-438. link

"White-Collar Lima, 1910-1929: Commercial Employees and the Rise of the Peruvian Middle Class." Hispanic American Historical Review 72:1 (February 1992): 47-72. [Winner of the Conference on Latin American History James A. Robertson Prize, 1993]. link

"Los pobres de la clase media: estilo de vida, consumo, e identidad en una ciudad tradicional." In Mundos interiores: Lima 1850-1950, eds. Aldo Panfichi H. and Felipe Portocarrero S. Lima: Universidad
del Pacífico, 1995: 161-185. pdf

Reprints and Translations

"Movilizacion de clase media y el lenguaje de estamentos: de 'casta' a 'categoria' en la Lima de principios del siglo XX" in Sergio Visacovsky and Enrique Garguin, editors, Moralidades, economias e identidades de clase media: estudios historicos y etnograficos.  Buenos Aires: Antropofagia, 2009. pdf

Extended excerpt from The Idea of the Middle Class reprinted as Chapter 7 of Erik K. Ching, Christina Buckley, and Angélica Lozano-Alonso, eds., Reframing Latin America: A Cultural Reading of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007, 109-116, with editors' critical introduction and study questions.

Chapter 6 of The Idea of the Middle Class reprinted as "Laws Against a ‘Working' Middle Class in Peru," in Vincent C. Peloso. editor, Work, Protest, and Identity in Twentieth-Century Latin America. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003, 111-123.

"Civilizando la cuidad de las reyes: higiene y vivienda en Lima, 1870-1920" in Entre médicos y curanderos: cultura, historia y enfermedad en la América Latina moderna, Diego Armus, editor. Buenos Aires: Norma, 2002, 105-150. link to review

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000