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Timothy Coates


Address: Maybank Hall, Room 325
Office Hours: T 2:30-4, W/R 2:30-3:30 and by appointment
Phone: 843.953.8031

Timothy Coates is Professor of History at the College of Charleston and formerly the Vasco da Gama Visiting Professor of Portuguese History at Brown University.   He has also taught as visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Universidade de Lisboa.  He has conducted research and lectured in Portugal, India, Brazil, and Macau. Professor Coates organized two international conferences at the College of Charleston to celebrate the 500th anniversaries of Vasco da Gama's arrival in India and Pedro Cabral in Brazil.


PhD History, University of Minnesota, 1993
MA History, University of Minnesota, 1988
MA Teaching English as a Second Language, University of Arizona, 1976
BA Spanish Literature, University of Arizona, 1974

Research Interests

Portugal and Portuguese Empire, Early Modern Global History, forced labor

Currently he is editing and translating Diogo do Couto’s 1612 classic work, O Soldado Prático, which will be titled in English as Reflections of a Veteran Soldier.  

Coates translated and edited a 1695 missionary work, Conversion of the King of Bissau for use in his World History classes.

Courses Taught

First Encounters in the Early Modern Period
World History Through Food
Colonial Latin America
Modern Latin America
Sugar and Slaves in Colonial Brazil
Modern Brazil
Golden Age of Iberia
The Rise and Fall of Fascism in Iberia
Portuguese Asia
The Portuguese in Africa
The Portuguese Empire

Honors and Awards

For his work promoting Portuguese history and culture in the United States, in 2001 the President of Portugal decorated him with the medal of [knight]  "Commander of the Order of São Tiago da Espada."

Fellowship awarded by the National Archives of Portugal  in 2002 to conduct research. He has also held grants from the Gulbenkian Foundation, the Fundacao Oriente, the Luso-American Development Foundation, and the American Institute of Indian Studies.  Research and travel awards from the College of Charleston and History Department in 2005 and 2007. 


Convicts and Orphans: Forced and State-Sponsored Colonizers in the Portuguese Empire, 1550-1755. Stanford University Press, 2001.
With Geraldo Pieroni, Castro Marim: The Town that Sin Created, 1550-1850 Lisboa: Sá da Costa Editora, 2002.
Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century,University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth Press, 2013.  This is a translation of Antonil’s 1711 Cultura e opulência do Brasil.

Convict Labor in the Portuguese Empire, 1740-1932.  Redefining the Empire with Forced Labor and New Imperialism.  Leiden: Brill, 2014.

He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in a number of journals and contributed essays to numerous collections, most recently to The Cambridge World History of Slavery, vol. 3.