Jeffrey Gould

Jeffrey Gould is a Distinguished Professor of History at Indiana University Bloomington, where he has also held the position of Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (1995-2008). He received his doctorate in history from Yale University in 1988. Over the course of his academic career, he has received fellowships from Harvard University (2016-17), the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (2012-13), the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, among others. He also received an award from the Latin American Studies Association in 2003 for his film “Scars of Memory.”

His work centers on social movements in Latin America, ethnic conflicts, and political violence. In addition to publishing various books and multiple articles in academic journals on these themes, he has also directed films and documentaries that deal with these subjects.



2020. Entre el bosque y los árboles. Utopías Menores en El Salvador, Nicaragua y Uruguay. CALAS: Editoriales diversos.

2019. Solidarity under Siege. The Salvadorian Labor Movement, 1970-1990. Cambrdige: Cambridge University Press.

2016. Desencuentros y Desafíos: Ensayos Sobre la Historia Contemporánea Centroamericana, Editorial de CIHAC, San Jose.

2008. To Rise in Darkness: Revolution. Repression and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-32 ,  (Aldo Lauria, co author) Durham: Duke University Press.

2004. Memorias de Mestizaje en América Central, La Política Cultural desde 1920, (coeditor with Darío Euraque and Charles R. Hale and author of several chapters) CIRMA.

1998. El Orgullo Amargo: El Movimiento Obrero Nicaragüense, 1920-1950,   Managua: Editorial Universidad Centroamericana.

2002. The Twentieth Century: A Retrospective, coauthor, Westview Press.


Articles and Book Chapters (Selection):

2016. “Between the Forest and the Trees: Subaltern Ambivalence, Revolutionary  Misunderstanding and the Struggle for Social Justice in 20th century Central  America (Memoirs of a researcher) Historia de las desigualdades sociales en América Central. Una visión interdisciplinaria. Siglos XVIII-XXI, eds. Rony Viales and David Diaz, Editorial UCR.

2015. “Ignacio Ellacuría and the Salvadoran Revolution,” Journal of Latin American Studies  47:2, May 2015.

Indigenista Dictators and the Problematic Origins of Democracy in Central America,” in: The Great Depression in Latin America, eds Paulo Drinot and Alan Knight, Duke University Press, 2014.

2012. “Utopías Menores en América Central” co-authored with Charles R. Hale,  Boletín para el Fomento de Historia Centroamericano, 53, April-June 2012.

2012. “La Palabra en el Bosque: El análisis histórico y el documental” Mesoamérica, 54.

2010. “On the Road to El Porvenir: Revolutionary and Counterrevolutionary Violence in El Salvador and Nicaragua” in A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence in Latin America, editors Greg Grandin and Gil Joseph,  Duke University Press.

2009. “Solidarity Under Siege: the Latin American Left, 1968,” The American Historical Review, 114:2.

2008. “Mataron Justos Por Pecadores: Las Masacres Contrarrevolucionarias,” Trasmallo, 3.

2004. “They Call Us Thieves and Steal Our Wage’: Toward a Reinterpretation of the Salvadoran Rural Mobilization, 1929-1931,” Hispanic American Historical Review, May 2004 (coauthored with Aldo Lauria-Santiago).


Documentary films:

2018. Puerto el Triunfo. Director and Producer, 58-minutes, documentary film on the rise and fall of the Shrimp Industry, its unions, and the triumph of neoliberalism in the context of a civil war.

2011. La Palabra en el Bosque (The Word in the Woods) 56-minute, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2011. Co-Directed and Co-Produced with Carlos Henríquez Consalvi.

2003. Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932, 53 minutes, First Run Films/Icarus, 2003. Co-directed and co-produced with Carlos Henríquez Consalvi.


Research project as a fellow of CALAS:

Title: Between the Forest and the Trees: The Minor Utopias and the Disagreement in Contemporary Latin America


Across the length and breadth of Central America, right next to the main roads of the revolution, we can see a different story, listening to the voiceless, with similar messages, usually unencoded in written texts. In these spaces, which emerged in times of crisis, where horizontal and multi-class communication flourished, Jay Winter's concept is appropriate. The historian calls these experiences "minor utopias." The author challenges us to "... imagine liberation on a smaller scale, without the grandiose pretensions ... of larger utopian projects." This project takes inspiration from that important work of Winter, tracing what he calls the “visions of partial transformation,” which temporarily coexisted with the great narratives of social transformation, but later lost their proper place in the historical record. The organized left often misunderstood or ignored these experiences, in part because they challenged all forms of hierarchy. In this talk, I am going to present cases from El Salvador and Nicaragua and explore what I have called a disagreement: a misunderstanding, a dislike, a disjunction, or a failed encounter. I suggest that the organized left used to understand local subjects and their social experiments as part of a universalist program and discourse. They could not see the trees, the local realities, due to their immersion in a strategy focused on the national or international.