Heather Roller

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Heather Roller

Associate Professor of History; Director, Native American Studies Program

Department/Office Information

History, Native American Studies
322 Alumni Hall

Heather Roller's research centers on how cross-cultural interactions and relationships shaped both indigenous and (post)colonial societies in the lowlands of South America. She is the author of Amazonian Routes: Indigenous Mobility and Colonial Communities in Northern Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2014). Her current book project, Contact Strategies: A History of Independent Indians in Brazil, explores how native groups maintained their autonomy over about two centuries of contact. She teaches courses on Latin American history, the history of indigenous peoples in the Western hemisphere, and global environmental health history.

BA 2002, Yale University
MA 2005, PhD 2010, Stanford University

Amazonia and Brazil; ethnohistory; indigenous history; borderlands; environmental health history

Book cover of "Amazonian Routes" with a picture of an empty green canoe on the water.

Contact Strategies: A History of Independent Indians in Brazil (book manuscript in progress).

"Autonomous Indian Nations and Peacemaking in Colonial Brazil," in The Oxford Handbook of Borderlands of the Iberian World, ed. Danna A. Levin Rojo and Cynthia Radding (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

“On the Verge of Total Extinction? From Guaikurú to Kadiwéu in Nineteenth-Century Brazil,” Ethnohistory 65:4 (October 2018): 647-670.

Amazonian Routes: Indigenous Mobility and Colonial Communities in Northern Brazil (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014).

“River Guides, Geographical Informants, and Colonial Field Agents in the Portuguese Amazon,” Colonial Latin American Review 21:1 (April 2012), 101-126.

“Colonial Collecting Expeditions and the Pursuit of Opportunities in the Amazonian Sertão, c. 1750-1800,” The Americas 66:4 (April 2010), 435-467. [Em português:  “Expedições coloniais de coleta e a busca por oportunidades no sertão amazônico, c. 1750-1800,” Revista de História 168 (July 2013), 201-243.]

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2017-2018)
  • Roberto Reis Book Prize, Brazilian Studies Association (2015)
  • Howard Francis Cline Memorial Prize, Conference on Latin American History (2015)
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2013-2014)
  • Warren Dean Prize, honorable mention, Conference on Latin American History (2011)
  • Tibesar Prize, Conference on Latin American History (2010)
  • Helen Hornbeck Tanner Award, American Society for Ethnohistory (2009)
  • Fulbright-Hays Research Abroad Fellowship for Brazil (2006-2007)

CORE 193: Brazil
FSEM 192: Ethnohistory of the Amazon
HIST 231: Resistance and Revolt in Latin America
HIST 302: Global Toxic History
HIST 322: Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
HIST 358: Conquest and Colony: Cultural Encounters in the Americas
HIST 400: Thematic Seminar: Secrets and Lies in History
HIST 480: Seminar in Latin American History