Barbara A. Sommer





Campus Box 0401


Weidensall Hall
Room 210
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


PhD University of New Mexico, 2000
MA University of Chicago
BA Colorado College

Barbara A. Sommer, Professor of History and former Johnson Chair for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities, received a Ph.D. in History with a minor in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2000. She has published articles in the journals Slavery & Abolition, Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas, and Colonial Latin American Historical Review. The Fulbright Commission, the Fundação Luso-Americana (Lisbon), and the John Carter Brown Library (Providence, RI) have supported her research.

Recent Publications:

"Alliance, Conflict, Migration, and Place in the Evolution of Identity in Portuguese Amazonia," in Oxford Handbook of Borderlands of the Iberian World, ed. Cynthia Radding and Danna Levin Rojo (Oxford University Press, forthcoming October 2019).

"The Amazonian Native Nobility in Late-Colonial Pará" in Native Brazil: Beyond the Cannibal and the Convert, 1500-1899, ed. Hal Langfur, 108-131 (University of New Mexico Press, 2014).

"Why Joanna Baptista Sold Herself into Slavery: Indian Women in Portuguese Amazonia, 1755-1798," Slavery and Abolition 34, no. 1 (2013): 77-97.

"Adquirindo e defendendo os privilegios concedidos pela coroa no norte do Brasil," in Raizes do Privilegio: Mobilidade social no mundo iberico do Antigo Regime, 617-638 (Rio de Janeiro: Civilizacao Brasileira, 2011).


  • First-Year Seminar: Cultural Perspectives on the Body
  • The Atlantic World:1600-1850
  • Colonial Latin American History
  • Modern Latin American History
  • Brazil: Earthly Paradise to Industrial Giant
  • Historical Methods
  • The Mexican Revolution
  • Social Difference in Brazilian History
  • Senior Seminar: Comparative Frontiers of the Americas
  • Senior Seminar: Expedition Chronicles of the Americas