Zephyr Frank

Associate Professor of Latin American History

At Stanford Since

Ph.D Illinois 1999; M.A. UCLA 1993

Research Interests

Current Research Projects

  • Spatial History Project
    With Richard White, Jon Christensen, Matt Booker, Erik Steiner, and Mithu Datta
  • Terrain of History: Spatial History of Rio de Janeiro, 1840s-1930s
    With Sidney Chalhoub, Silvia Lara, Maria Clementina Pereira Cunha, Claudio Batalha, and Samuel Fernando de Souza (all affiliated with CECULT—UNICAMP); and James Green  (Brown University)
  • Social and environmental transformation in Chile's aquaculture industry, 1950-2000
    Woods Institute Environmental Venture Project, 2008-2010
    Co-PI with Andy Gernart, Roz Naylor, Meg Caldwell, Richard White and Hal Mooney
  • Business Partnerships in Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1891
    Ongoing research project with Ran Abramitzky (Economics) and Aprajit Mahajan (Economics); Research assistance provided by Tereza Cristina Alves and Elsa Campos
  • Executive Compensation and Income Inequality in Brazil
    Ongoing research project with Aldo Musacchio (Harvard Business School); Research assistance provided by Tereza Cristina Alves
  • People of Minas Gerais: Parish Records, Race, and Social Dynamics in the Rio das Mortes, 1720-1850
    Ongoing research project with Douglas Cole Libby (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte)
    • SAMPLE PUBLICATION: “Exploring Parish Registers in Colonial Minas Gerais, Brazil: Ethnicity in São José do Rio das Mortes, 1780-1810,” with Douglas Libby, Colonial Latin American Historical Review 17:3 (Summer 2008)

Courses Taught

  • Culture, Politics, and Society in Latin America
  • Latin American Development: Economy and Society, 1800-2000
  • Modern Brazil

Recent Publications

  • Stature in nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro: preliminary evidence from prison records," Revista de Historia Económica (Madrid), 2nd series, vol. 3 (winter 2006)
  • From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500-2000 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), Steven Topik, Carlos Marichal, and Zephyr Frank, editors
  • "Cities and Wealth in the South Atlantic: Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro before 1860," Comparative Studies in Society and History 48:3 (July 2006), with Lyman Johnson
  • "Wealth Holding in Southeastern Brazil, 1815-1860," Hispanic American Historical Review 85:2 (2005)
  • Dutra's World: Wealth and Family in Ninteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004)


  • Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award (2008)