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Nuevas Fronteras

New Trends and Transformations in Modern Mexican History

June 5, 2009, Yale University

Conference co-organizers: Gil Joseph, Yale University, Rick Lopez, Amherst College,

Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, Univ. of Connecticut



In a special issue of the Hispanic American Historical Review, “Mexico’s New Cultural History: Una Lucha Libre?” (79:2 (May 1999)) leading historians debated the promise and potential of what was billed as the “new cultural history” of Mexico. Since that time a new generation of historians has come of age. Unlike their predecessors, many of whom reconsidered their past epistemological and methodological paradigms in favor of a “new” cultural history, this recent generation of historians trained during the unfolding of the cultural history debates. At the time of the 1999 debate there were many predictions about the directions this “incipient” cultural turn would take, and whether its “conceptual pastiche” would result in empirical advances or simply “dress the Emperor in New Clothes.”

On the tenth anniversary of the watershed HAHR issue, this conference brings together scholars from the United States and Mexico to showcase the state of the field that critically examines new interdisciplinary themes, subjectivities, and historical relationships in the construction of modern Mexico.



Luce Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT



June 4, 2009

Welcoming Dinner 7-9pm (panelists and commentators)

June 5, 2009

Light Breakfast 8am-8:30am

1. Opening Remarks and Introductions (Gil Joseph, Rick Lopez, Mark Overmyer-Velázquez) 8:30-9:00am

2. Panel 9:00-11:00am (4 x 15 minute papers, 1 hour discussion)

Coffee Break

3. Panel 11:15am-1:15pm (4 x 15 minute papers, 1 hour discussion)

Lunch 1:15-2:30 pm

4. Panel 2:30-4:30 pm (4 x 15 minute papers, 1 hour discussion)

5. Publication Meeting 4:30-6:30 pm.

6. Concluding Dinner (Concluding Remarks, Claudio Lomnitz) 7:30pm

June 6, 2009

Breakfast and Departure (panelists and commentators)




1. Gil Joseph, Yale University


2. Steve Bachelor, Fairfield University

“Neither Here Nor There: Mexico’s Industrial Working Class in the American Century”

3. Ted Beatty, University of Notre Dame

 “The Adoption of New Technologies in Late Nineteenth Century Mexico”

4. Raymond Craib, Cornell University

"The Archive in the Field: Political Geography and Agrarian Reform ”

5. Ben Johnson, Southern Methodist University

“The Cosmic Race in Texas:  Racial Fusion, White Supremacy, and Civil Rights Politics”

6. Gabriela Cano, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana

Por mi raza hablarán las mujeres: feminismo hispanoamericanista en Nueva York, 1922-1935

7. Rick López, Amherst College

“Natural History and National Identity in the Mexican Botanical Garden (1787-1829)”

8. Jocelyn Olcott, Duke University

“We All Want To Change the World: Contesting Mexican Feminism at International Women’s Year, Mexico City, 1975”

9. Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, University of Connecticut

“‘Good Neighbors and White Mexicans: Constructing Race and Nation on the Mexico-US Border”

10. Gabriela Soto Laveaga, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The ‘Emperor’ Has a New Lab Coat: How History of Science and Medicine Continue to Challenge Our Understanding of Modern Mexico”

11. Pamela Voekel, University of Georgia

“Virtuous Sentiment and Vain Sensuality: Gender, Religion, and the Public Sphere during the War of the Reform”



William French (History, University of British Columbia)

Claudio Lomnitz (Anthropology, Columbia University)

Eric Van Young (History, UC San Diego)

Mary Kay Vaughn (History, University of Maryland)

Valerie Millholland (Editor, Duke University Press)


Comentaristas Insurgentes

Chris Boyer (History, University of Illinois at Chicago)

Seth Fein (Yale University)

Susan Gauss (History, SUNY Albany) 

Robin Greeley (Art History, University of Connecticut)

Tanalis Padilla (History, Dartmouth College)

Jeff Rubin (History, Boston University)         

Louise Walker (History, Louisiana State University)           


Conference Funds

We very much appreciate the generous funding for the conference from the following sources:

 Yale: The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund and the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International Areas Studies with funding from the U.S. Department of education under HEA Title VI for International, Area, and Foreign Language Studies

 UConn: UConn Humanities Institute, Research Foundation, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Institute, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

 Amherst:  Amherst College Faculty Research Award Program, as funded by The H. Axel Schupf '57 "Fund for Intellectual Life"


Contact Information

For further information, please contact Carolyn Golden