Prof. Dr. Paulo Cruz Terra

Senior Guest Researcher (Research Grant Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
February 2024

Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Title of current research project: "Coercion, Anti-Vagrancy Legislation and Workers in the Post-Abolition in Brazil and the Portuguese Empire in Africa (1878–1933)"

Prof. Dr. Paulo Cruz Terra.jpg
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

My project analyses how legislation, punishment and anti-vagrancy policy entangled with multiple labour relations during the process of the abolition of slavery. It centres on the period 1850–1910 and addresses the Lusophone world, with particular foci on Rio de Janeiro – capital of Brazil, which was part of the Portuguese Empire until 1822 – and two of the most important cities of the Portuguese Empire in Africa during this time frame: Lourenço Marques, in Mozambique, and Luanda, in Angola. The role of the Municipal Council and the interaction of its legal measures with legislation at the imperial and national levels lies at the centre of my research.

PhD in History, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil, Thesis: "Citizenship and Work: The Streetcar Workers in Rio de Janeiro (1870–1906)," Supervisor: Gladys Sabina Ribeiro

M.A. in History, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil, Dissertation: "Are All the Transport Workers Black? Porters and Coachmen in Rio de Janeiro (1824–1870)," Supervisor: Gladys Sabina Ribeiro

B.A. in History, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil

since 2013
Professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil Undergraduate classes at the History Department (2013–2016: Campos dos Goytacazes; since 2016: Niterói), Graduate classes at History's Graduation Program (since 2016)

Visiting Researcher, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, University of Lisbon, Portugal

since 2023
Research Link Programme, Alexander von Humboldt Project

since 2022
Universal Fellowship from the CNPq, Brazil

since 2022
Research Fellowship from the CNPq, Brazil

since 2021  
"Jovem Cientista do Nosso Estado" from Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro - FAPERJ

Elected Affiliated Member of Brazilian Academy of Science

Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship 

Scholarship of the Tutorial Education Program (PET), Ministry of Education (MEC), Brazil

Research grant, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil

Research fellowship, General Secretariat of the Presidency, Brazil

Installation assistance grant, Foundation Carlos Chagas Filho Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Brazil

Professor Afonso Carlos Marques dos Santos Prize, General Archive of Rio de Janeiro City (Arquivo Geral da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro) for my Ph. D. dissertation

since 2018
  • Free and Unfree Labour
    The conceptualisation of "free" and "unfree" labour and of the "free/unfree" labour divide has been the topic of lively scholarly debates in recent decades. The links between coercion and labour are not only crucial to our understanding of historical societies, but also speak to ongoing developments in the contemporary global economy. The Cost Action "Free and Unfree Labour" seeks to further the study of coerced labour by bringing together scholars who study all kind of labour relations and the unfreedom they entail – e.g. chattel slavery, wage labour, debt bondage, convict labour, indentured work, sharecropping, household labour, military impressment. etc.
    Coordinator: Juliane Schiel
    Members: Paulo Cruz Terra, Babacar Fall, Christian De Vito, Jeannine Bischoff, Joseph C. Miller, Mathias van Rossum 


since 2011–present
  • Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations in the period 1500–2000
    The International Institute of Social History is working on a Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations in the period 1500–2000. In this project we want to make an inventory of all types of labour relations worldwide, varying from slavery, indentured labour and share cropping, to free wage labour and self-employment from 1500 up until today. Our aim is first to gather statistical data on the occurrence of all types of labour relations in all parts of the world during five cross-sections in time, i.e. 1500, 1650, 1800, 1900 and 2000.
    Coordinators: Karin Hofmeester, Jan Lucassen
    Members: Paulo Cruz Terra, Andreas Eckert, Babacar Fall, Christine Moll-Murata, Raquel Varela, Stefano Bellucci, et alli.
    Funding: Gerda Henkel Stiftung

  • Labour Relations in Brazil (1800–2000)
    This project aims to quantify and qualitatively analyse the labour relations not only in recent Brazil but in a broader frame, that is, between the beginning of the 19th century and the end of the 20th century.
    Coordinator: Marcelo Badaró Mattos
    Members: Paulo Cruz Terra, Kênia Miranda e Demian Melo
    Funding: The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)


  • Workers and the City: The Legislation of the City Council of Rio de Janeiro
    The present project aims to analyse how the issue of labour and workers appeared in the legislation of the City Hall of Rio de Janeiro, during the Imperial period (1822–1889). It seeks to investigate which occupations were indicated on the legislation, the distinctions established between enslaved and free workers, as well as how the Council tried to regulate and control the work in the city.
    Coordinator: Paulo Cruz Terra
    Funding: Foundation Carlos Chagas Filho Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)


  • Labour Relations in Portugal and the Lusophone World 1800–2000: Continuity and Change
    This project aims at quantifying, analysing and understanding labour relations in Portugal and in the Lusophone world in the contemporary period, pointing out how labour and industrial relations have been modified and adapted to the social, economic and political evolution of Portugal and the Lusophone world over the last two centuries.
    Coordinator: Raquel Varela
    Members: Paulo Cruz Terra, Cátia Teixeira, Filipa da Silva, Paulo Cruz Terra, Paulo Teodoro de Matos, Sónia Ferreira, Tarcísio Botelho
    Funding: Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)


  • Social Movements and the Public Sphere Impacts and Challenges of Civil Society Participation in the Formulation and Implementation of Governmental Policies
    This project seeks to understand the recent transformations of Brazilian social movements and to reflect on the differences in composition, temporal rhythms and specific repertoires of each movement, taking into account also the processes of historical formation of a differentiated range of movements, such as the trade unions and identity movements of black people, indigenous people, women, homosexuals, etc.
    Coordinator: José Sergio Leite Lopes
    Members: Paulo Cruz Terra, Beatriz Herédia, José Ricardo Ramalho, Regina Novaes, Sonia Giacomini, et alli.
    Funding: General Secretariat of the Presidency
  • Control of the City's Workers: Municipal Law and the Free and Unfree Labour in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1830–1838): II European Labour History Network Conference, Université de Paris VII, Paris, November 2017
  • Trabalho livre e não-livre na produção recente da história social do trabalho brasileira: perspectivas e desafios: I Congreso Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Trabajo y Trabajadores, Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, Bolívia, May 2017
  • Brazilian Labour Relations in XXI Century: 10th European Social Science History Conference, Vienna University, May 2014

6 Bachelor and 3 ongoing Master theses

[information will follow]

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