About Us

Each podcast includes interviews with men and women involved in political trends, cultural events and social movements before turning to an historical expert who seeks to place these events in a historical context. 

Borrowing a phrase from Americo Paredes our podcast on Greater Mexico hopes to capture the space that defines the social, cultural, and political reality of Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry in the United States. In the contemporary period Mexico and the United States are integrated on so many levels, and, as “traditional” borders between Mexico and the United States have blurred, others have been almost completely eliminated. 

Our mission is to popularize debate about events affecting Mexicans and Chicanos and create a dialogue between present-day actors and the historical academy. Although the show is bilingual, we also offer translations of monolingual interviews and discussions into either English or Spanish.

The show also owes a huge debt to Peter Limb and Peter Alegi’s Africa Past and Present podcast also hosted at Michigan State University, which demonstrated to us as historians the real value of these types of digital programs.

Benjamin Smith is an assistant professor in Mexican history at Michigan State University. He received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2006, where he was supervised by Professor David Brading. His doctoral work looked at the history of popular politics in the predominantly indigenous state of Oaxaca. His first book, The Politics of State Formation in Oaxaca, 1920-1952, will be published in early 2009 by the University of Nebraska Press. He has also co-authored a book on women’s social movements in Oaxaca with Noemi Morales Sanchez, which should also be out in 2009 published by the Casa de la Cultura, Oaxaca. Over the past two years, he has published articles on state formation, indigenismo, Catholicism and anticlericalism in the Journal of Latin American Studies, Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, the Bulletin of Latin American Research and edited volumes including Matthew Butler (ed.) Faith and Impiety in Revolutionary Mexico. He has also been working on a book tentatively entitled Ethnicity, Religion and Popular Conservatism in the Mixteca Baja, 1810-2000.

Born and raised in the Columbia Basin in Washington State Jerry Garcia is an Assistant Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at Michigan State University. He received his PhD from Washington State University, is trained as a Latin Americanist (Mexico) and wrote his dissertation on Japanese immigration in Mexico. However, his work primarily focuses on the Chicano and Mexicano experience in the United States. He is particularly interested in immigration, race, popular culture, and sport. He is currently completing projects on Japanese Immigration and Mexican Nationalism, 1897-1930s; Mexicans in Iowa; and his forthcoming book is tentatively titled The Paradox of Whiteness: The Racialization of Mexicans in the United States. His most recent publications include Mexicans in North Central Washington (Arcadia Press, 2007); Mexican Americans (Gale Publishers, 2007); Memory, Community and Activism: Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest (Julian Samora Research Institute and Michigan State University Press, 2005); The Measure of a Cock: Mexican Cockfighting, Masculinity, and Culture (In I AM AZTLAN, 2004).

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