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From the Revolution to the Drug War: Mexico’s Twentieth Century (AM219)


Tutors: Benjamin Smith

Office: Room H338, third floor of the Humanities Building

Office Hours: (BS) or by appointment.

Just email me with a time you can make.

Phone: +44 (0)24 76523422 (internal extension 23422)


Lecture Time: Monday 10-11

Seminar Times: . Monday 6-7 or Friday 1-2. Please sign up on Tabula

Rescheduled Classes: 

Over the two past centuries, Mexicans have endured a an independence movement, dozens of foreign invasions (mostly but not exclusively by the United States) revolutionary civil war, four major (and countless minor) religious uprisings, a vicious Cold War counter-insurgency, nearly fifty years of authoritarian government, countless devaluations, and nearly a decade of violent confrontations between drug cartels. Yet Mexicans have also experienced far-reaching social reforms, unparalleled levels of economic growth, rapid rates of industrialization and urbanization, and seventy years of relative political stability. They also elected an indigenous president of Mexico in 1858. This module seeks to understand these contradictions and the ways in which they have affected Mexicans’ everyday lives.

Students will be asked to examine at a range of subjects including the Spanish and U.S. imperialism; Catholic belief systems; ideologies of revolutionary leaders, like Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa, and Subcomandante Marcos; the politics of the world’s longest running one party state; the long struggle for indigenous rights; the experiences of Mexico’s urban poor; and the machinations of the country’s cartels.

A note on emailing: We will try to respond to e-mails in as timely a fashion as possible within normal working hours (i.e. 9-5.30 Monday to Friday). Please add 'AM219' to the start of your subject line so that we can spot course-related e-mails. Those that do not contain this often go into my junk mail. Please also understand that we often cannot give an instant reply.