Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology, Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
I work on the history, politics and culture of Latin America, and particularly of Mexico. I received my PhD from Stanford in 1987, and my first book, Evolución de una sociedad rural (Mexico City, 1982) was a study of politics and cultural change in Tepoztlán, Mexico. After that I developed an interest in conceptualizing the nation-state as a kind of cultural region, a theme that culminated in Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (California, 1992). In that work, I also concentrated on the social work of intellectuals, a theme that I developed in various works on the history of public culture in Mexico, including Modernidad Indiana (Mexico City, 1999) and Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minnesota, 2001). Around 10 years ago I began working on the historical anthropology of crisis and published Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005), a political and cultural history of death in Mexico from the 16th to the 21st centuries. After that, I initiated detailed historical on exile and ideology in the Mexican Revolution, that culminated in the publication The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (Zone Books, 2014). My most recent book is a collection of essays titled La nación desdibujada: México en trece ensayos (Ediciones Malpaso, 2016).