Rebecca Herman is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley where her research and teaching explore the intersections between international and domestic politics in the Americas. Before joining the faculty at Berkeley, she taught as assistant professor of International Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of Washington. Professor Herman has received grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Library and Information Resources. She earned her BA from Duke University and her PhD from UC Berkeley.
Professor Herman’s current book project investigates the interwoven histories of international cooperation, national sovereignty and popular politics in the Americas in the twentieth century. At the center of the manuscript is a contentious U.S. military basing project that was advanced in Latin America during World War II in the name of cooperation in hemisphere defense. Executed amidst a rising tide of nationalist popular politics in the region, base construction incited local conflicts over governance that belied the wartime rhetoric of fraternal cooperation. The manuscript uncovers the nature of these conflicts – in the realms of labor rights, racial discrimination, gender relations and criminal jurisdiction – and their consequences in the national and international spheres. The book argues that wartime experiments in security cooperation had profound and long-lasting consequences for the nature of domestic politics and inter-American relations in Latin America.