Ben Cowan

Professor, History

Ben Cowan received his AB from Harvard University and his MA and PhD from UCLA. His interest in right-wing radicalism, morality, sexuality, and 20th-century imperialism led him to focus on Cold War Brazil, with a specialization in the cultural and gender history of the post-1964 era. Dr. Cowan’s first book, Securing Sex: Morality and Repression in the Making of Cold War Brazil, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2016. Securing Sex won three book awards, including the prestigious Brazil Section Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association. Dr. Cowan published a second monograph, Moral Majorities across the Americas: Brazil, the United States, and the Creation of the Religious Right, also from UNC Press, in 2021. In 2015, his research on counterinsurgency earned the Sturgis-Leavitt Award for the best article from SECOLAS. He has also published articles in American QuarterlyThe Journal of the History of SexualityThe Hispanic American Historical ReviewRadical History ReviewLatin American Research Review, and other venues. His work has benefited from much-appreciated support, including grants from the John W. Kluge Center, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the American Philosophical Society, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Before coming to UCSD, Dr. Cowan taught at Occidental College, Dalhousie University, and George Mason University.