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David S. Parker


Dr. Parker is best known for his research on Latin America's middle class, work that established him among the early pioneers in theorizing social class as a product of the collective imagination—a cultural, intellectual, and legal construction—while never losing sight of the materiality of everyday middle-class lives. His new study of the duel in Uruguay shows how dueling codes and the protocol of honour created a parallel legal system that shaped the norms of nineteenth- and twentieth-century journalism and politics far more than formal, statutory law did. He has also published articles on public health and housing reform, urban workers, social climbing, and Latin Americans' complex dialogue with European social ideas.

Selected Publications


  • The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay, 1860-1992. McGill-Queen's University Press, accepted January 2020. Post peer-review edits in progress.

Chapters in Books

  • “Asymmetric Globality and South American Narratives of Bourgeois Failure.”  In Christof Dejung, David Motadel, and Jürgen Osterhammel, eds., The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2019:  275-294.
  • “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, eds., The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2012:  335-354.
  • "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, 2007:  109-132.
  • "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.
  • "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.
  • FORTHCOMING:  "Taxonomy, Identity, Mode of Being, or Political Project?  Epistemologies of 'Middle Class' in Latin America since 1948," in Mario Barbosa Cruz, A. Ricardo López-Pedreros and Claudia Stern, editors, Middle Classes in Latin America:  Subjectivities, Practices, and Genealogies.  Routledge, accepted October 2020.

Journal Articles

  • “Honor Ideology, Dueling Culture, and Judicial Lies in 1920s Uruguay,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, August 2016.
  • “The All-Meaning Middle and the Alchemy of Class,” in EIAL: Estudios Interdiscipinarios de América Latina y el Caribe 25:2 (Dec. 2014):  9-29.
  • "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.
  • "Law, Honor, and Impunity in Spanish America:  The Debate over Dueling, 1870-1920." Law and History Review 19:2 (Summer 2001):  311-341.
  • "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.
  • "White-Collar Lima, 1910-1929:  Commercial Employees and the Rise of the Peruvian Middle Class."  Hispanic American Historical Review 72:1 (Feb. 1992):  47-72.  CONFERENCE ON LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY (CLAH) JAMES A. ROBERTSON PRIZE WINNER.
Awards and recognition
  • History Department Teaching Award
  • Principal's Teaching Award for Promoting Student Inquiry 2018
  • Conference on Latin American History James A. Robertson Prize

Department of History, Queen's University

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Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.