Kevin Coleman

Kevin Coleman

Assistant Professor


Kevin Coleman is an Assistant Professor of Latin American History at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

His recent articles and book chapters examine the intersection between photography, agro-export economies, labor history, and theorizing ways to read political subjectivities through visual archives.

In his first book, A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-Forging of a Banana Republic, he argues that the “banana republic” was an imperial constellation of images and practices that was locally checked and contested by the people of the Honduran town of El Progreso, where the United Fruit Company had one of its main divisional offices. As banana plantation workers, women, and peasants posed for pictures and, more emblematically, as they staged the General Strike of 1954, they forged new ways of being while also visually asserting their rights as citizens.



A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-Forging of the Banana Republic (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016).

Articles and Chapters

“The Photos We Don’t Get to See: Sovereignties, Archives, and the 1928 Massacre of Banana Workers in Colombia,” in Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialismedited by Daniel E. Bender and Jana K. Lipman (New York: New York University Press, 2015), pp. 104-136.

Photographs of a Prayer: The (Neglected) Visual Archive and Latin American Labor History.” Hispanic American Historical Review, 95, no. 3 (2015): 459-492.

A Camera in the Garden of Eden.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 20, no. 1 (2011): 61-94.

An expanded version of this article was published as “Una óptica igualitaria_Autorretratos, construcción del ser y encuentro homo-social en una plantación bananera en Honduras” Diálogos, 15, no. 2 (2014), translated by David Díaz Arias.


Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington