Profile

Amy Chazkel

Bernard Hirschhorn Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Amy Chazkel is a historian of Brazil with broad interests in the urban humanities, law and society, crime and justice, policing, slavery, abolition, and post-abolition societies in the Atlantic world. In her own research and writing, she has principally explored the urban and legal history of post-colonial Brazil. She is the author of Laws of Chance: Brazil’s Clandestine Lottery and the Making of Modern Public Life in Brazil (Duke University Press, 2011), a study of petty crime, urban culture, and the historical roots of the informal sector in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazil, and a translated and adapted version of that book, Leis da sorte: A construção da vida pública urbana (Editora da Unicamp, 2015) and is co-editor of The Rio Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University Press, 2016), an anthology of primary sources on the history of Rio de Janeiro. Over the past eighteen years, she has pursued her interest in the cultural and social context of the law both in her scholarship and as a volunteer researcher and Portuguese-English interpreter with US-based law clinics and human rights organizations. Her work in progress includes a book project, supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society, that explores the social, cultural, and legal history of the urban nighttime, focusing on Rio de Janeiro during the long nineteenth century.