Fabrício P. Prado
Associate Professor of History
Professor Fabrício Prado wants you to know that globalization is not new.
“Most people think of globalization as just a modern phenomenon, but it actually started 500 years ago when Magellan circumnavigated the world in 1522,” he says.
His latest book, tentatively titled “Inter-American Connections: Capitalism, Slavery, and the Making of the United States and Independent South America,” will follow the political and commercial networks linking the newly independent United States with South America, specifically Buenos Aires and Rio De Janeiro.
Prado became interested in these global connections growing up in southernmost Brazil, in an area that was hotly contested between Portugal and Spain during the colonial era.
A native Portuguese speaker, he was fascinated by the people around him from Spanish-speaking cultures and how these two cultures mixed in this “borderland.” After receiving his master’s degree in Argentinian history, Prado came to the United States for his Ph.D.
At William & Mary, Prado has found a vibrant intellectual community of faculty and students.
“I have the best colleagues I can dream of — there’s a strong culture of open doors, of talking about intellectual things over coffee,” he says. “My students are bright and they keep pushing me to learn more, dig a little bit deeper. They ask questions that make me see the world from a different perspective.”
Prado especially enjoys teaching his COLL 300 course on colonial Latin America, in which he can address students’ misconceptions about Latin America, Africa and the early Atlantic trade.
He prepares his students for today’s global world by bringing a little bit of the world into his classroom, through music, poetry and video.
“I want students to see that people are not just economic agents of developed or undeveloped countries, poor or rich societies. They are not just revolutionaries or bandits or smugglers,” he says. “People feel, people love, people die, people suffer, as we do here. I offer a window for students to empathize with their humanity.”
“The making of America is tied to trade to South America, China, India — we were founded on global connections.”