Sarah C Chambers

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Department of History
1218 HellerH

271 19th Ave S

I teach about Latin American history, as well as colonialism, law, gender, and film more broadly. My research (which has taken me to Peru, Chile, Spain, Puerto Rico and Colombia) explores political culture, citizenship, law, and gender during Spanish America’s transition from colonialism to independence (late 18th to mid 19th centuries). I am currently working on migrations spurred by the Wars of Independence in South America, tracing the paths of internal refugees, political exiles, and royalist émigrés, and analyzing how these movements influenced the formation of shifting imperial and new national identities. My most recent book, Families in War and Peace: Chile from Colony to Nation (Duke, 2015) considers the intersections between family and politics in both rhetoric and practice. It explores how men’s and women’s experiences of the independence war was shaped by kin ties and ideas about family and the ways in which the leaders of the new Chilean state attempted to reestablish social order in part through policies (amnesties, military pensions, and the enforcement of family law) aimed at reuniting and supporting families. My first book, From Subjects to Citizens: Honor, Gender, and Politics in Arequipa, Peru, 1780–1854 (Penn State, 1999), traced how Peruvians made sense of the shifting political culture and claimed rights as citizens by reworking understandings of honor. I have also published various articles and book chapters, including several analyzing ideas about gender and nationhood in the correspondence of Simón Bolívar and that of several literate women in early nineteenth-century Spanish America. I am the co-editor with John C. Chasteen of Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources (Hackett, 2010), and with Sueann Caulfield and Lara Putnam, of Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America (Duke, 2005).

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • PhD: History, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1992.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Colonial Latin American history
  • cultural and legal history
  • gender history
  • transition between the end of the colonial period and the formation of republican nations
  • Chile
  • Andean region
Courses Taught
  • Hist 3401W - Early Latin America to 1825
  • Hist 3424 - Women and Gender in Latin American History
  • HIST 3429: Latin American History through Film and Text
  • HIST 4010W: Encounters in Early America
  • Hist 5421 - Gender in Latin American History
  • Hist 5901 - Proseminar: Readings in Colonial Latin American History
  • Hsem 3110 - Voices from Latin American Women's Movements
  • HIST 5960/8960: Law and History
  • Hist 5980 - Topics in Comparative Women's History
  • Hist 8015 - History Scope and Methods
  • EMS 8250: Seminar in Early Modern Studies
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Co-Editor, Gender & History (journal): 2008 - 2018
  • Director, Center for Early Modern History: 2008 - 2012


  • Émigrés and Citizens: Migrations and Identities during South American Independence from Spain:
  • Families in War and Peace: Chile from Colony to Nation . Chambers, Sarah, Duke University Press, Author, 2015. Link
  • “Gender during the Period of Latin American Independence”: Chambers, Sarah, Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies, 2021. Link
  • From One Patria, Two Nations: Historic Convergence and Political Divergence in the Andean Heartland, 1780-1850: Chambers, Sarah, Duke University Press, New Countries in the Americas: Diverging Paths to the World of Nations and Industrial Capitalism, 1750-1870 , 316-49, 2016. Link
  • “Rewarding Loyalty after the Wars of Independence in Spanish America: Displaced Bureaucrats in Cuba" : Chambers, Sarah, Palgrave Macmillan, War, Demobilization and Memory: The Legacy of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions, 238-53, 2016.
  • “Citizens before the Law: The Role of Courts in Post-Independence State Building in Spanish America”: Chambers, Sarah, Cambridge University Press, State and Nation Making in Latin America and Spain: Republics of the Possible , 2013.
  • “The Paternal Obligation to Provide: Political Familialism in Early Nineteenth-Century Chile” : Chambers, Sarah, American Historical Review , 117:4 1123-48, 2012.
  • “‘Drying Their Tears’: Women's Petitions, National Reconciliation, and Commemoration in Post-Independence Chile” : Chambers, Sarah, Palgrave MacMillan, Gender, War and Politics: The Wars of Revolution and Liberation - Transatlantic Comparisons, 1775-1820 , 2010.
  • Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources . Chambers, Sarah, John Charles Chasteen, Hackett Publishing Company, Co-Editor, 2010. Link
  • “Choosing to be a Subject: Loyalist Women in the Revolutionary Atlantic World”: Chambers, Sarah, Lisa Norling, Journal of Women’s History , 20:1 39-62, 2008.
  • "Masculine Virtues and Feminine Passions: Gender and Race in the Republicanism of Simón Bolí­var,". Chambers, Sarah, Hispanic Research Journal, Author, 2006.
  • Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America. Chambers, Sarah, Co-editor with Sueann Caulfield and Lara Putnam, Duke University Press, Author, 2005. Link
  • "Letters and Salons: Women Reading and Writing the Nation in the Nineteenth Century,". Chambers, Sarah, Beyond Imagined Communities: Reading and Writing the Nation in Nineteenth-Century Latin America, Author, 2003.
  • "Little Middle Ground: The Instability of a Mestizo Identity in the Andes, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,". Chambers, Sarah, Author, 2003.
  • Republican Friendship: Manuela Sáenz Writes Women in the Nation, 1835-1856. Chambers, Sarah, Author, 2001.
  • From Subjects to Citizens: Honor, Gender, and Politics in Arequipa, Peru, 1780-1854. Chambers, Sarah, Penn State Press, Author, 1999. Link
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2012 - 2013
  • Fulbright Scholar Award, Spain, Jan., 2011 - June, 2011
  • Fulbright Scholar Grant, Chile, 2002 - 2003
  • Syllabus Prize, H-Latam and the Teaching Committee of the Conference on Latin American History “Not Another Exam: Creative Assignments for Latin American History Courses”, 2020
  • The Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award, 2018