Robert Douglas Cope
Associate Professor of History:
Phone: +1 401 863 3161
Phone 2: +1 401 863 2131
My research and teaching focuses on the creation and development of multi-ethnic societies in Mexico and Central America. I am particularly interested in the lived experience of the urban poor: how they grappled socially, economically, and culturally with their unfavorable position in the colonial hierarchy.
R. Douglas Cope received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987; he taught at the University of Oregon and the University of Miami before arriving at Brown in 1988. He offers courses on colonial Latin America, the early modern Atlantic world, Mexico, and Guatemala. His book, The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720, received honorable mention for the Herbert E. Bolton Prize for the best book in Latin American Studies. He is currently at work on a book about the informal economy of eighteenth-century Mexico City.
My current research examines the economic activities of the urban poor including servants, commercial employees, artisans, and petty venders in eighteenth-century Mexico City. In the process, I explore such issues as: 1) the evolution of official views on commerce (and the "public good") from the late seventeenth century to 1770; 2) the colonial regulatory climate and its impact on Mexico City's economy; and 3) the multiple, sometimes perverse links between the formal and informal sectors.
Honorable mention, Herbert E. Bolton Prize for Best Book in Latin American Studies (1996)
William G. McLoughlin Award for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences, Brown
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (1989)
History Department Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1983 84)
Fulbright-Hays Grant for Study Abroad (1982 83)
HEA Title VI Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1981 82)
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison
American Historical Association
Latin American Studies Association