University of Calgary

Hendrik Kraay

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Hendrik Kraay received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. He subsequently held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (and honorary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He has taught at the University of Calgary since 1997 and offers a variety of courses on Latin American and Brazilian history. “Soldiers, Officers, and Society: The Army in Bahia, Brazil, 1808-1889,” his dissertation, was a social history of the army garrison in Brazil’s second city, Salvador, capital of the province (now state) of Bahia. He analyzed the army as a social institution, deeply integrated into local society, which reflected the racial and class tensions prevalent in nineteenth-century Brazil. This dissertation served as the starting point for his book, Race, State, and Armed Forces in Independence-Era Brazil: Bahia, 1790s-1840s, published in 2001 by Stanford University Press. A social history of the principal military institutions in Bahia’s capital—army, militia, and National Guard—this book examines the transition from Portuguese colonial regime to independent empire in one of Brazil’s principal provinces. In 2004, this book received an honorable mention for the Warren Dean Prize, awarded by the Conference on Latin American History for the best book in Brazilian history in 2001 and 2002.  In the course of his research on the army in Bahia, Kraay discovered that a large number of runaway slaves found their way into the army. In a series of articles and book chapters, he traced the army’s contradictory policy toward these men and presented a reinterpretation of the role of military institutions in this slave society. Kraay is recognized in Brazil and North America as an historian of nineteenth-century Brazilian military affairs. In 2004, he published two co-edited books in the field. Nova história militar brasileira (New Brazilian Military History) (Editora da Fundação Getúlio Vargas and Bom Texto), edited with Celso Castro and Vitor Izecksohn, for the first time brought together the recent work of Brazilian and North American scholars who have been rethinking the role of armed forces in Brazilian society. I Die with My Country: Perspectives on the Paraguayan War (University of Nebraska Press), edited with Thomas L. Whigham, was an international collaboration among scholars working on the social history of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest interstate war. In addition to his work in the field of Brazilian military history, Kraay has worked published in the fields of Afro-Brazilian cultural politics, Latin American identities, and Brazilian civic rituals. He is currently completing a book manuscript on imperial Brazilian civic rituals. In 2005, Kraay’s work on Brazilian history was recognized by the Brazilian government, which inducted him into the Ordem de Rio Branco (Order of Rio Branco) at the rank of cavaleiro (knight) for his services rendered to the country in the field of Brazilian history. September 2009


Edited Book

Photograph of Hendrik Kraay

Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD - History
    University of Texas at Austin, 1995
  • MA - History
    University of Toronto, 1989
  • BA - International Relations and History
    Trinity College, University of Toronto, 1988
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