Jeffrey L. Gould

Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Department of History

James H. Rudy Emeritus Professor, Department of History

Former Director (1995-2008), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Modern History, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study - Princeton, NJ

Department of History

IU Bloomington

Full Biography

My work deals with Central American social movements, ethnic conflicts and political violence. My first book analyzes the rise of peasant and labor movements in Somocista Nicaragua. My second book deals with the development of the myth of mestizaje in Nicaragua and the simultaneous assaults on indigenous communities in central and western Nicaragua. I then wrote a book (coauthored) on the mobilization and massacre of Indians and peasants in El Salvador. This project derives from a National Edowment for the Humanities collaborative project that I co-directed with Charles Hale and Darío Euraque. That project, which dealt with the problems of ethnic identity and violence in Central America, involved 15 Central American scholars. I also co-directed and co-produced “Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932.” (Icarus, 2003), a 53-minute documentary film. In 2011, I finished La Palabra en el Bosque (Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2012), a 56-minute film that deals with the impact of Liberation Theology in Morazan, El Salvador and the origins of the civil war. I recently published Solidarity Under Siege: The Salvadoran Labor Movement, 1970-1990 with Cambridge University Press. I also completed Port Triumph/Puerto El Triunfo a 58-minute documentary film that also deals with the rise and decline of the labor movement in El Salvador during the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on Puerto el Triunfo, a shrimp port. 


Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Professor, Indiana University 
  • Invited Visting Professor, Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris  
  • Founding Fellow at the Center for Advanced Latin American Studies, Universidad de Guadalajara 201
  • Fellow at the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, 2016-17
  • Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, 2012-13.
  • Award of Merit for “Scars of Memory,” Latin American Studies Association (2003)
  • John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2002)
  • Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship (2001)
  • James Robertson Prize (1994)
  • Rockefeller Fellowship in Humanities (1991)
  • SSRC Fellowship (1990)

Research Interests

  • Central America: social movements, ethnic relations
  • Documentary film


  • Ph.D. at Yale University, 1988

Courses Taught

  • Revolution and Counterrevolution in Latin America
  • Race and Racism in Latin America



  • Entre el bosque y los arboles: Utopias menores en El Salvador, Nicaragua, y Uruguay, CALAS, Editorial Universidad de Guadalajara, 2021.
  • Solidarity Under Siege: The Salvadoran Labor Movement, 1970-1990, Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Desencuentros y Desafios: Ensayos Sobre la Historia Contemporanea Centroamericana, CIHAC, San Jose, 2016.
  • To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-32 (co authored with Aldo Lauria), Duke University Press, 2008.
  • To Lead as Equals: Rural Protest and Political Consciousness in Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1912-1979. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990.
  • To Die in This Way: Nicaraguan Indian Communities and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998.
  • [Co-editor] Memorias de Mestizaje: la política cultural en América Central desde 1900. CIRMA, 2004.