Heidi Tinsman

Picture of Heidi Tinsman
Professor, History
School of Humanities
Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies
School of Humanities
Ph.D., Yale University, 1996, History
B.A., Princeton University, 1986, History
Senior B.Phil., Oxford University, 1988, Modern History
Fax: (949) 824-2865
Email: hetinsma@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
259 Murray Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Latin America, Gender history, Labor history, Transnational and World history, Chile, Peru
Academic Distinctions
John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellow, 2016
Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow, 2004-2007
Fulbright-Hays Scholar, 2002-2003
Rhodes Scholar, 1986-1988
Research Abstract
My research focuses on gender and labor in modern Latin America and the Americas. I am especially interested in the relevance of feminist materialist paradigms for transnational and world history.

My first book, Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Sexuality, Gender and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973 (Duke, 2002) argues that conflicts over sexuality and gender were integral to how Chile’s dramatic agrarian reform exacerbated class conflict and political crisis during the democratic governments of Eduardo Frei and Salvador Allende. I challenge the longstanding assumption that agrarian reforms throughout Latin America “excluded women” because land was normally redistributed to male heads of household. I explore how Chile’s agrarian reform organized peasant women for civic activism through housewife associations, sex education projects, and literacy classes. I argue that this inadvertently brought women into conflict with husbands, since despite the agrarian reform’s rhetorical celebration of peasant men as stable family providers, men’s energies were increasingly drawn away from domestic responsibilities and towards the pitched conflict of strikes and land occupations.

My second book, Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States (Duke, 2014), examines the connections between Chile’s spectacularly profitable fruit-export industry under military dictatorship and the growing demand for “fresh and healthy lifestyles” in the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. I challenge the conventional notion in much of the scholarship on globalization, both that consumption is always politically reactionary and that it involves the imposition of first world desires on developing societies. I argue that Chilean businessmen played active roles inside the United States in developing the American taste for fresh food through their aggressive advertising and historic ties to California agribusiness. I also argue that the new forms of consumption generated by neoliberal capitalism were as important to Chilean fruit workers as they were to the North Americans who ate imported grapes. In Chile, women’s ability to purchase imported household appliances and other goods with their own wages helped women negotiate more equitable relationships with men and assume leadership roles in pro-democracy movements. Inside the United States, debates over consumption were central to boycotts launched by the United Farm Workers and the U.S.-based Chile Solidarity movement, both of which made the figurative argument that grapes were not “healthy” or “good for you,” but “poisonous” and produced through human rights violations. My approach in Buying into the Regime is deliberately transnational and interdisciplinary. It reflects my longstanding interest in world history and history of the Americas, ideas that are represented in co-edited volume I produced with American Studies scholar Sandhya Shukla: Imagining Our Americas: Towards a Transnational Frame (Duke) with Sandhya Shukla. This collection reflects on the different strengths and limitations of American Studies and Latin American Studies as area studies fields and showcases scholarship that intentionally uses interdisciplinary methodologies to breach divides between the two. I have also collaborated on a number of scholarly projects about gender and world history with Ulrike Strasser, an historian of Early Modern Europe.

I am currently developing a new project on Chinese Contract Labor, Masculinity, and Nation in the Making of Modern Peru and Chile. I am interested in Latin America’s historical ties to Asia and how understanding Latin America as part of the Pacific World changes our notion of Latin America as a region.
Buying into the Regime: Grapes and Consumption in Cold War Chile and the United States, (Duke University Press, 2014).
Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).
Imagining Our Americas: Toward a Transnational Frame, co-edited with
Sandhya Shukla, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007).
Radical History Review: Revolutionary Positions- Gender and Sexuality in Cuba and Beyond. Co-edited with Michelle Chase, Isabella Cosse, and Melina Pappademos, 136 (Winter, 2020).
Radical History Review: The Other 9/11: Chile, 1973: Memory,Resistance, and Democratization. Co-edited with Angela Vergara, Michael Lazzara, and Alicia Del Campo." 124 (Winter, 2016).
“Narrating Chinese Massacre in the South American War of the Pacific,”Journal of Asian American Studies 22:3 (October 2019): 277-314.
“Rebel Coolies, Citizen Warriors, and Sworn Brothers: The Chinese Loyalty Oath and Alliance with Chile in the War of the Pacific,”Hispanic American Historical Review 98:3 (2018): 439-470.
“Struggles in the Countryside: Gender Politics and Agrarian Reform in Democracy and Dictatorship.” In Radical History Review: The Other September 11th-Chile, 1973, Issue 124. Co-edited by Angela Vergara, Heidi Tinsman, Michael Lazzara, and Alicia Del Campo. Issue 124, Winter, 2016.
“Mujeres y hombres en la reforma agrarian chilena,” Mujeres: Historias del Siglo Viente, Santiago de Chile: LOM, Edit., 2011
“It’s a Man’s World: Bringing Masculinity to World History, in Latin
American Studies for Example,” Journal of World History, vol.
21, no. 1 (2010). 2009. Co-authored with Ulrike Strasser.
“A Paradigm of Our Own: Joan Scott in Latin American History,”
American Historical Review, December, 2008.
“Männerdomänen? World History trifft Männergeschichte – das Beispiel
der Lateinamerikastudien,” Historische Anthropologie 16/2 (2008):
271-90. Co-authored with Ulrike Strasser.
“Consumer Culture and Gender Politics in Authoritarian Chile, 1973
-1988: Women Workers in the Fruit-Export Industry, Latin
American Research Review 41, no. 3 (Fall 2006):7-31.
“Feminist Labor History and Marxist Legacies in Latin American
Studies,” WerkstattGeschichte, (Germany) vol. 16 (2006)
“Engendering World History,” co-authored with Ulrike Strasser,
Radical History Review, Issue 92 (Winter, 2005).
“Good Wives and Unfaithful Men: Sexual Negotiation in the Chilean
Agrarian Reform, 1950-1973,” Hispanic American Historical
Fall, 2001.
“Reviving Feminist Materialism: Gender and Neoliberalism in Pinochet’s
Chile,” SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Fall, 2000. [Cited for “Honorable Mention” for Best Article from the Berkshire Women’s History Conference, 2000.]
“The Indispensable Services of Sisters: Considering Domestic Service in
Latin American and United States Studies,” Journal of Women’s
Spring, 1992.
“Behind the Sexual Division of Labor: Connecting Sex to Capitalist
Development,” Yale Journal of International Law, Winter, 1992.
“Los Estudios latinoamericanos y el giro transnacional,” en Cátedra
Norbert Lechner,
(Santiago: Ediciones Diego Portales, 2011.)
"The Indispensible Services of Sisters: Considering Domestic Service in Latin America andUnited States Studies," Comparative Approaches," Journal of Women's History, Bloomington, Spring, 1992
"Household Patrones: Wife-Beating and Sexual Control in Rural Chile, 1964-1988," forthcoming publication in Daniel James and John French, eds., The Politics of Working Class Womanhood, Durham: Duke University Press, 1996.
"Behind the Sexual Division of Labor: Connecting Sex to Capitalist Production," Yale Journal of International Law, New Haven, Winter, 1992.
“Los Patrones del hogar: Esposas golpeadas y control sexual en Chile
rural, 1950-1988,” in Lorena Godoy, Elizabeth Hutchison, Karin
Rosemblatt, M. Soledad Zárate, eds., Disaplina y desacato: Construcción de identidad en Chile, siglos xix y xx, Santiago: SUR/CEDEM, 1995.
Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Grant, 2002-2003
American Council of Learned Societies Faculty Research Grant (SSRC-NEH), 2002-2003
University of California Pacific Rim Faculty Research Grant, 2002-2003
UCLA Institute for Labor and Employment Faculty Research Grant, 2003-2003
Mellon Dissertation Grant, Yale University, 1994-1995
Social Science Research Council Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1991-1992
Inter-American Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1991-1992
Henry Hart Rice International Research Grant, 1991
Yale Council on International-Area Studies Dissertation Research Grant, 1990
John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship, 2016
Professional Societies
Radical History Review, Editorial Collective, 1998-Present
American Historical Review, Board of Editors, 2017-2020
Latin American Studies Association, Member
American Historical Association, Member
Conference on Latin America, American Historical Association
Research Centers
University of California Humanities Research Institute, Co-Convener of Faculty Seminar, "Historical Problems of Gender, Sexuality, and the Global." Fall, 2006
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