Iwa Nawrocki

Office Phone
G-05 Dickinson Hall

I study the history of Modern Latin America and Eastern Europe from a global and transnational perspective. My main focus is on Brazil and the socialist world in the Cold War period.

My dissertation, titled "Revolutionary Utopia: The Brazilian Catholic Left and the Socialist World, 1979-1991," examines the relationship between Catholicism and socialism in Cold War Latin America from a global perspective. It analyzes how a particularly vocal and visible sector of the Latin American Catholic Left–Brazilian proponents of liberation theology–carved out a space for a Christian-socialist option within the overlapping confines of Cold War bipolarity and Vatican conservatism. To legitimate their revolutionary utopia, Brazilian liberationists like Frei Betto and Leonardo Boff set out to challenge prevailing (mis)conceptions of socialism by establishing exchanges with Nicaragua, Cuba, Poland, the Soviet Union, and China in the 1980s. I argue that in doing so they not only shaped global Christian-Marxist dialogue, but also helped articulate a new broad-based Leftist alternative for Latin America.

My broader interests include social, political and intellectual history; oral history; the methodological issues involved in doing comparative, global and transnational history; social movements; and the Left.

I completed General Examination fields in Modern Latin American History, Colonial Latin American History, and Global History (1850-the present). I received a Joint Honors B.A. in History and Philosophy from McGill University in 2007.

Year of Study
Degree Candidate
Area of Interest
Intellectual History
Labor History
Political History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
20th Century
Latin America and the Caribbean