Marshall C. Eakin
Distinguished Professor of History
Interim Chair, Department of History
Marshall Eakin is a historian of Latin America specializing in the history of Brazil. Although his work spans all of Brazilian history, his major publications have concentrated on the processes of nationalism and nation-building, economic and business history, and industrialization—primarily in the twentieth century. His first book, British Enterprise in Brazil: The St. John d’el Rey Mining Company and the Morro Velho Gold Mine, 1830-1960 (Duke, 1989), traces the history of the most successful foreign enterprise in 19th- and 20th-century Brazil. Tropical Capitalism: The Industrialization of Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Palgrave, 2001) examines the industrialization of the second-largest industrial center in Brazil. Much of his work addresses audiences beyond the academy. This work includes Brazil: The Once and Future Country (St. Martin’s, 1997), a one-volume introduction to Brazil for beginners; two video courses with the Great Courses, The Conquest of the Americas and The Americas in a Revolutionary Era; and The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Eakin’s latest book is Becoming Brazilians: Race and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Brazil (Cambridge, 2017).
The recipient of two Fulbright-Hayes fellowships and grants from the Tinker Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Library, the Tennessee Humanities Council, and the Corporation for National Service, Eakin has been the recipient of numerous teaching and advising awards: the Jeffrey Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1991), the Chancellor’s Cup (1994), the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1994), the Ernest A. Jones Faculty Adviser Award (1996), the Alumni Education Award (1999 and 2016), and a Chair of Teaching Excellence (1998-2001). In 2004-2005 he held the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Professorship.
Eakin has taught a wide variety of courses in history and Latin American studies at all levels from first-year to Ph.D. students. These include Colonial and Modern Latin America, Brazilian Civilization, Visions of Amazonia, Reform and Revolution in Latin America, and the History Workshop. On several occasions he has offered courses for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Masters in Liberal Arts program. He has team taught courses with faculty in the College of Arts & Science, Engineering, Divinity, and Peabody College.
Over the past fifteen years he has been deeply involved in service-learning courses and programs. From 2009-2017 Eakin was the Faculty Director of the Ingram Scholarship Program. The program sponsors students who demonstrate a willingness and ability to combine a successful business or professional career with a lifelong commitment to finding solutions to critical societal problems.
Marshall Eakin has taught at Vanderbilt since 1983.