Mexico & Central America

Edward Gibson

Edward Gibson

Program Area(s):  Mexico and Central America; Politics

Professor Gibson's (PhD, Columbia University) research and teaching interests include comparative politics, democratization, Latin American politics, and American Political Development. He is the author of Boundary Control: Subnational Authoritarianism in Federal Democracies (2012).  Boundary Control won the V.O. Key Award for the Best Book on U.S. Southern Politics, as well as the Latin American Studies Association’s Donna Lee Van Cott Award for best book in Latin American Political Institutions.   He is also author of Class and Conservative Parties: Argentina in Comparative Perspective (1996), and editor of Federalism and Democracy in Latin America (2004).  Professor Gibson has won several teaching recognitions, including Northwestern University’s John Deering McCormick Professorship in Teaching Excellence.

Paul Gillingham

Paul Gillingham

Program Area(s):  Caribbean; Mexico and Central America

Paul Gillingham (D.Phil, Oxford, 2006), is a historian of modern Mexico and Latin America. His first book, Cuauhtémoc's Bones: Forging National Identity in Mexico (University of New Mexico, 2011) examines nationalism through the story of the forged tomb of the last Aztec emperor. He is currently working on three projects: a history of political violence in post-revolutionary Mexico, a national history of Mexico and a co-edited volume on journalism and censorship.

Michelle Molina

Michelle Molina

Program Area(s):  Colonialism; Transnationalism/Globalization; History; Mexico and Central America; Religion; Atlantic World

J. Michelle  Molina (PhD, University of Chicago) studies the Society of Jesus in the early modern period. Her book, To Overcome Oneself: The Jesuit Ethic and the Spirit of Global Expansion (University of California, 2013) explores Jesuit spirituality in an effort to understand how individuals – both elite and commoner – approached and experienced religious transformation. In particular, she has been interested in examining the impact of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises – a meditative retreat geared toward self-reform – on early modern global expansion and the development of ideas about self and religious subjectivity in New Spain.

Paul Ramírez

Paul Ramírez

Program Area(s):  Mexico and Central America; Public Health; Atlantic World; History; Religion; Colonialism

Paul Ramírez (Ph.D., Berkeley) specializes in the history of Mexico in the colonial and early national periods. His book project on epidemics and public health, tentatively titled “Minerva's Children: Mexico's Enlightenment Battle against Epidemic Disease,” examines the colonial rituals and genres that facilitated Mexico's early adoption of preventive medicine. His research has appeared The Americas, Hispanic American Historical Review, and Endeavour, and has been supported by institutions such as the Newberry Library, Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study, the Huntington Library, the Mabelle McLeod Lewis Foundation, the University of California’s Institute for Mexico and the U.S. (UC MEXUS), and Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. He is undertaking research on a new project on the religious dimensions of the harvest and production of salt in Mexico.

Cynthia Robin

Cynthia Robin

Program Area(s):  Mexico and Central America; Archaeology

Cynthia Robin is an anthropological archaeologist who studies everyday life, gender, and class in ancient Maya society.  Through her research she strives to show how ordinary people make a difference in society and are not the mere pawns of history or prehistory.  She has just completed a decade long project on the 2000 year history of the ancient Maya farming community of Chan.

Elizabeth Schwall

Program Area(s):  Gender and Sexuality; History; Race; Ethnography; Mexico and Central America; Art and Architecture; Brazil

Elizabeth Schwall received her Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Columbia University in 2016. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching combines History and Dance Studies to shed light on the physical movements that animated daily life, politics, and intellectual inquiry in the region. Her book manuscript, "Political Moves: Dance and Power in Revolutionary Cuba," examines dance as revolutionary politics, labor, and entertainment in Cuba from 1930 to 1990. Her broader research interests include Brazilian History, Latin American performance, Cold War cultural diplomacy, and the histories of migration and community building through art. Her research has appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review and History of Anthropology Newsletter. She has forthcoming publications in the journals Dance Chronicle and Cuban Studies, and two edited volumes. Her book reviews and encyclopedic entries have appeared in Dance Research Journal, New West Indian Guide/ Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Cuban Studies, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, and the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.