Mexican History Today: Where We Are, Where We Aren't
Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
The Mexican past has exerted a special hold over historians, in part for the issues it raises, but in part for its singular drama. This essay attempts to provide some degree of orientation concerning where we stand in terms of modern (that is, post-1810) historical writing, paying particular attention to the production of the last decade. The basic argument is that while interest in what might be called the “middle period” of the slightly overlapping Porfiriato (1876-1911) and Revolution (1910-1920) has declined somewhat, scholarly attention on the preceding early national period (1821-1876) and post-revolutionary years (1920 onward) has gained apace. Add to these trends a healthy increase in certain speciality sub-genres like the careers of key artists and archaeologists, and you have a fair approximation of where we are today in Mexican history. I can’t include all writers – in fact, I can’t even include most of them – but have tried to hit some representative cases that clue us in as to the direction of history today. For those not mentioned, my apologies, and my hope that they receive just recognition at the hands of a synthesist more talented than myself.
State of the Art essay on History