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David S. Parker


Dr. Parker is a social historian of urban South America, best known internationally for his research on the middle class. His new book on 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. He has also published articles and book chapters on public health, housing, and labour, recently with an emphasis on asymmetries of global knowledge transfer. 

Selected Publications

The Pen, the Sword, and the Law: Dueling and Democracy in Uruguay

Batlle Berres duel photo
  • McGill-Queen's University Press, 2022.

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 Ronn F. Pineo and James A. Baer, eds., Cities of Hope:  People, Protests, and Progress in Urbanizing Latin America, 1870-1930.  Boulder, Westview Press, 1998:  153-178.
  • "Los pobres de la clase media:  estilo de vida, consumo, e identidad en una ciudad tradicional."  In Aldo Panfichi H. and Felipe Portocarrero S., eds., Mundos interiores:  Lima 1850-1950.  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, in press.

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,” 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.
Awards and recognition
  • History Department Teaching Award, 2019
  • Principal's Teaching Award for Promoting Student Inquiry 2018
  • Conference on Latin American History James A. Robertson Prize, for the article "White-Collar Lima."
Graduate supervision

Urban South America (especially Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay) in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




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