Dr. Kenneth P. Serbin

Dr. Kenneth P. Serbin is professor and chair in the Department of History at the University of San Diego. His research spans the fields of Brazilian social, cultural, political, and religious history as well as the history of science, technology, and medicine. His Brazil-related projects have focused on the history of the Catholic Church, the relationship between religion and democracy, the revolutionary left in contemporary society, and society, religion, and reproductive issues. His books Secret Dialogues: Church-State Relations, Torture, and Social Justice in Authoritarian Brazil and Needs of the Heart: A Social and Cultural History of Brazil’s Clergy and Seminaries each won the Book Prize of the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association. He is also the author of “The Catholic Church, Religious Pluralism, and Democracy in Brazil,” a chapter in the edited volume Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions, and Processes.

Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Fulbright-Hays program, Serbin is currently writing a book tentatively titled From Revolutionaries to Rulers: How Brazil’s Radical Left Went from Kidnapping the American Ambassador to Building a Capitalist Giant. It chronicles the history of a generation of militants who opposed Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) and U.S. imperialism and now hold positions of power. As part of this project, Serbin published “Mainstreaming the Revolutionaries: National Liberating Action and the Shift from Resistance to Democracy in Brazil, 1964-Present,” a chapter in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Moving from War to Peace (2009). His many articles have appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review, rical Review, the Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, The Christian Century, National Catholic Reporter, and numerous other publications.

Dr. Serbin holds a BA in History from Yale, and a Master and Ph.D. in history from the University of San Diego.