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. I am currently finishing a book on anarchism, socialism and revolution in Mexico (c. 1910) that inspects the cultural and political history of transnationalism. I will be spending 2011-12 on a research fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin.
2010 Anti-Semitism and the Ideology of the Mexican Revolution. Representations.
2009 Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation: The Birth of “Dependency” in Late Porfirian Mexico.In Clio/Anthropos: Exploring the Boundaries Between History and Anthropology,edited by Andrew Wilford and Eric Taggliatozzo, Stanford, Stanford University Press.
Death and the Idea of Mexico, New York, Zone Books (2005).
"Times of Crisis: Historicity, Sacrifice, and the Spectacle of Debacle in Mexico City," Public Culture (2003);
"The Depreciation of Life During Mexico City's Transition into the Crisis," in J. Schneider and I. Susser (Eds.), Wounded Cities: Destruction and Reconstruction in a Globalized World (2003)
Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (2001)
Modernidad indiana: 9 ensayos sobre nación y mediación en México (1999)
"Functions of the Form: Political Ritual in the Partido Revolucionario Institucional's 1988 Presidential Campaign," in D. Levine (Ed.), Constructing Culture and Power in Latin America (1993)
Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in the Mexican National Space (1992)
Evolución de una sociedad rural (1982)