Aline Helg

Aline Helg
University of Geneva | UNIGE · Department of General History

24.22
 · 
PhD

About

97
Publications
10,500
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589
Citations
Introduction
Aline Helg’s books include Slave No More: Self-Liberation before Abolitionism in the Americas. Transl. Lara Vergnaud. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019; Liberty and Equality in Caribbean Colombia, 1770-1835 (2004); Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912 (1995); and La educación en Colombia, 1918-1957 (1987). Also articles on Afro-Latin America, comparative race relations, black mobilization, independence, and racial ideas in Latin America.
Research Experience
January 2019 - July 2019
University of Geneva
Position
  • Professor (Emeritus)
September 2003 - December 2018
University of Geneva
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1989 - June 2003
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Honor and the Survival of Slavery - Sobreviviendo a la esclavitud: negociación y honor en las prácticas cotidianas de los africanos y afrodescendientes. Lima, 1750–1820. By Maribel Arrelucea Barrantes. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2018. Pp. 439. $24.00 paper. - Volume 76 Issue 4 - Aline Helg
Chapter
This chapter explores the ways in which the slaves in Great Britain's thirteen continental colonies took action as full-fledged actors in the tensions and war that led to the independence of the United States. Many enslaved men and women attempted to take advantage of the chaos to improve their own lives and become free. The British army's calls fo...
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This chapter explores marronage as one of the ways in which slaves were able to win their freedom in a context in which slavery appeared unshakable. Marronage represented the slaves' primary form of revolt until the mid-eighteenth century and consisted of slaves running away and creating maroon societies within the inner frontiers of the Americas....
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Beginning in 1810, the wars of independence waged in Spain's continental colonies following the Napoleonic invasion of the Iberian Peninsula would provide slaves in those territories with new occasions to free themselves. Thousands of them fled or found themselves without masters, while others enlisted in rival armies in exchange for promises of em...
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This chapter explores the shock waves caused by the Haitian Revolution and the massive slave insurrection that took both the Americas and Europe by surprise. Despite the rarity of large-scale revolts after 1794, the Saint Domingue insurrection did have a lasting impact on the slaves. The greatest lesson they retained from Haiti was that the institu...
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According to most historians, the first 250 years that followed the conquest of the Americas were interspersed with conspiracies and slave revolts. This chapter shows that, in reality, many of those rebellions only existed in the frightened imaginations of colonial elites and numerous whites. Fears and rumors prior to 1700 led to the making of the...
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This chapter covers the various revolts and eventual emancipation of all enslaved people. Very few slave uprisings disrupted slaveholding regions in the Americas after 1815 because enslaved people understood the risks. It was therefore not by chance that the three largest uprisings over the subsequent fifteen years occurred in Great Britain's colon...
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This chapter discusses the 1791 slave revolt in Saint Domingue and the following impact it had on the entire continent. This uprising marks the first time that thousands of slaves had attacked their exploiters and their plantations to demand freedom with unprecedented violence, implementing a scenario of servile revolt long feared by supporters of...
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This chapter outlines the major phases of the slave trade in relation to colonization and the evolution of the institution of slavery. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Christian Western Hemisphere relied on the enslavement of Africans, and as a result, tens of thousands of men, women, and children were deported from Africa to the...
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This chapter explores the ways in which manumission and the purchase of freedom remained highly dependent on circumstances and geography. Despite the changes caused by wars and the independence of most territories on the American continent, in every state or region in which slavery had not been abolished, slaves, whether Africans or creoles, planta...
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This chapter explores self-purchase and military service as strategies used by slaves to obtain their freedom. In contrast to marronage, these were forms not of revolt but rather of individual, familial, and at times community resistance that used existing legislative frameworks to escape a condition of servitude. This chapter discusses self-purcha...
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Full-text available
Until recently, the emancipation of slaves in the Americas was attributed primarily to liberal abolitionists. Aline Helg challenges this version of history by showing that since the beginning of the slave trade, long before Enlightenment and abolitionism, many enslaved Africans and their descendants managed to free themselves. Drawing on an extensi...
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Sinopsis de ¡NUNCA MÁS ESCLAVOS! ESTRATEGIAS DE LIBERACIÓN DE LOS ESCLAVOS ANTES DEL ABOLICIONISMO EN LAS AMÉRICAS, 1492-1888 Durante mucho tiempo se consideró que la emancipación de los esclavos de las Américas había sido la obra de los abolicionistas. Este nuevo libro de Aline Helg desmiente esta versión de la historia y demuestra que, sin espe...
Article
Karen Y. Morrison , Cuba's Racial Crucible: The Sexual Economy of Social Identities, 1750–2000 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015), pp. 372, £22.99, pb. - Volume 49 Issue 1 - ALINE HELG
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Longtemps, l’émancipation des esclaves fut considérée comme l’œuvre des abolitionnistes, libéraux et blancs. Dans ce livre, qui fait pour la première fois le grand récit sur plus de trois siècles des insoumissions et des rébellions d’esclaves en couvrant l’ensemble des Amériques, Aline Helg déboulonne cette version de l’histoire. La réalité de...
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Navarrete Cardona, Steven y Montoya Vargas, Paola Andrea. “Entrevista con Aline Helg: El oficio de historiadora, por una historia de los subalternos”. Revista Historia de la Educación Latinoamericana. Vol. 17 No. 24 (2015): xxx.
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Aline Helg es una investigadora de talla mundial que ha recorrido Latinoamérica desarrollando varios proyectos de investigación sobre diversos campos, entre ellos la educación y las políticas raciales. Proyectos que le han valido el reconocimiento y premios a nivel internacional. Su primer trabajo, La educación en Colombia 1918-1957, se ha converti...
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Por que desde José Martí até a revolução de 1959, a história oficial cubana silenciou sobre o papel extraordinário dos afro-cubanos nas lutas contra a escravidão, pela independência e pela igualdade republicana? Este artigo responde a essa pergunta analisando os movimentos de escravos e livres de cor no século XIX, a liderança de Antonio Maceo e do...
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No contexto de uma cada vez maior marginalização dos negros em Cuba, no seguimento do desmantelamento da ajuda económica soviética à Revolução, vários activistas afro-descendentes defendem que o reconhecimento nacional da historical agency dos Afro-Cubanos iria permitir-lhes uma melhor preparação para o futuro sem com isso ameaçar a unidade naciona...
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Based on Bolívar's speeches, decrees, and correspondence as well as on Gran Colombia's constitutions and laws, this essay examines the tensions within Bolívar's vision of Venezuela's and New Granada's society produced by his republican, yet authoritarian and hierarchical ideas, his concern for keeping the lower classes of African descent in check,...
Chapter
This article discusses race relations in postabolition Afro-Latin America. It shows that, contrary to the Lusocentrism of the recent historiography on slavery, much has been written in the past few decades about race and blackness in the Caribbean and in Spanish America.
Book
The book analyses present Latin American issues in their historical course since independence (beginning 1810) and its aftermath, up to the contemporary period. The authors focus on political, economic, social, environmental and cultural developments. It examines the legacies of the past and the multiple changes that have taken place in the last tw...
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Colombia cuenta con la población afrodescendiente más numerosa en América después de Brasil y Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, los estudios afrocolombianos tardaron mucho en desarrollarse y a menudo se limitaron a regiones consideradas como “de negritudes”, como la Costa pacífica o Palenque de San Basilio, descuidando otras con una población afrodescen...
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This chapter explores Afro-Cubans' contribution to the war and some dimensions of their military experiences. It also discusses the concerns their massive participation raised among certain white separatist leaders who did not hesitate to jeopardize Cuba Libre's most decisive victory against Spain—Maceo's invasion of the western part of the island—...
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Cuba, like Haiti, was one of the few countries that abolished slavery before it emerged on the world stage as an independent nation. Although Cuba declared independence in 1902, Cuban revolutionaries had been fighting for more political autonomy since the middle of the nineteenth century. Cubans of all races and backgrounds contributed to the strug...
Article
Arlene J. Díaz, Female Citizens, Patriarchs, and the Law in Venezuela, 1786–1904 (Lincoln, NE, and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2004), pp. xii+335, £29.95, pb. - - Volume 38 Issue 1 - ALINE HELG
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Awards & distinctions 2005 John Edwin Fagg Prize, American Historical Association After Brazil and the United States, Colombia has the third largest population of African-descended peoples in the Western hemisphere. Yet the country is commonly viewed as a nation of Andeans, whites, and mestizos (people of mixed Spanish and indigenous Indian ancest...
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This article examines the tensions between the Gran Colombian republican constitution of 1821 and Simón Bolívar's fear of a mulatto takeover. It focuses on Cartagena in the 1820s, where the mulatto general José Padilla challenged the socio-racial hierarchy and accepted notions of equality of the city, heading a three-day coup in 1828 against Bolíva...
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Hispanic American Historical Review 82.2 (2002) 386-388 This book is an ambitious study of race and racial equality in Cuba during its twentieth-century process of national formation. It examines the impact of racial ideologies, government policies, and social and political mobilization in shaping Afro-Cubans' opportunities and limitations in the l...
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Two decades after the abolition of slavery, fear-inducing stereotypes of black men emerged in the U.S. South and Cuba that had not been pervasive before emancipation or in its immediate aftermath. Simultaneously, white antiblack violence reached unprecedented levels with the lynching of more than twenty-five hundred blacks in the U.S. South bet...
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Examines the issue of race in Cuban society, politics and ideology during the island's transition from a Spanish colony to an independent state. Challenges Cuba's myth of racial equality and demonstrates that despite Cuba's abolition of slavery in 1886 and its winning of independence in 1902, Afro-Cubans remained marginalized in all aspects of soci...
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This article questions the validity of racial studies that separate Anglo-America from Latin America by comparing Cuba's racial system and postslavery black mobilization with those of Jamaica, Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. Unlike these countries, Cuba had a two-tier racial system close to, but not identical to, that of the United States, and it...
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Blacks joined en masse the struggle for Cuba's independence from its beginning. In the process, many increased their expectations regarding their position in an igualitarian future. This article explores some dimensions of Afro-Cubans' war experiences and discusses the concerns their massive participation raised among certain white separatist leade...
Article
Blacks joined en masse the struggle for Cuba's independence from its beginning. In the process, many increased their expectations regarding their position in an igualitarian future. This article explores some dimensions of Afro-Cubans' war experiences and discusses the concerns their massive participation raised among certain white separatist leade...
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This is a study of the role of regions in the development of modern nations in Latin America. Eduardo Posada-Carbo focuses on the Colombian Caribbean between 1870 and 1950. He examines the achievements and shortcomings of arable agriculture and the significance of the livestock industry, the link between town and countryside, the influence of forei...
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This is a book review of Aline Helg, Our Rightful share.
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Awards & distinctions 1998 Gordon K. Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship, Caribbean Studies Association 1995 Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History, American Historical Association 1997 Elsa Goveia Prize, Association of Caribbean Historians In Our Rightful Share, Aline Helg examines the issue of race in Cuban society, politics,...
Chapter
In 1940 Colombian education offered a varied picture. Although enrolment had increased at all levels compared to 1920, access to education hardly kept pace with demographic growth.1 A major improvement was registered in the literacy rate, which rose from 32 per cent of the population over fifteen years of age in 1918 to 56 per cent in 1938. But in...
Book
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¿Si la promoción social a través de la educación fuera sólo un mito propagado en el Tercer Mundo para evitar reformas socioeconómicas? ¿Y si en realidad sólo se tratara de “civilizar” al pueblo para controlarlo mejor, mientras que las élites cosmopolitas garantizan su permanencia en colegios privados de nivel internacional? Este libro analiza la ev...
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ParkJames William: Rafael Núñez and the Politics of Colombian Regionalism, 1863–1886 (Baton Rouge & London: Louisiana State University Press, 1985, $35.00). Pp. xii + 304. - Volume 18 Issue 2 - Aline Helg
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Desde 1975 aproximadamente varios estudios hechos por investigadores tanto nacionales como extranjeros han mostrado la importancia de los años 1920 en el despegue y la modernización de Colombia21 . Se apartaron de la visión partidista que había prevalecido hasta entonces y que atribuía la mayoría de los cambios socioeconómicos a la llegada al poder...
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Cuando Alfonso López Pumarejo tomó posesión de la presidencia de la República en 1934, la situación educativa global de Colombia era la siguiente: La población mayor de diez años era en un 50% analfabeta, con un acentuado predominio del analfabetismo en las zonas rurales. De los niños en edad escolar, 513.775 estaban matriculados, mientras que 950....
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El tiempo transcurrido entre 1918 y 1957 fue el período en el cual Colombia conoció sus mayores transformaciones. La economía del país se abrió al mercado mundial con la expansión de la producción cafetera mediante un proceso de industrialización lento, vinculado a la penetración de capital extranjero, especialmente norteamericano. Al mismo tiempo,...
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Este libro reúne las conferencias de 23 catedráticos dictadas en el marco del seminario internacional «La nación multicultural: el primer decenio de la constitución incluyente», llevado a cabo en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia en el año 2001. Los tex si

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Project (1)
Project
To trace and analyze the fundamental changes that took place between the 1960s and the 1990s within certain sectors of the Catholic Church in their relations and involvement with Afro-descended communities in Latin America.