DRCLAS: Social Origins of Legal Rule in Nineteenth-Century Mexico


Monday, March 26, 2018, 5:00pm


CGIS South, S-216, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Timo Schaefer, Adjunct Professor, Brandeis University, Department of History; Boston University, Pardee School of Global Studies

Moderator: Kirsten Weld, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences

In the nineteenth century, Mexicans faced the challenge of constructing republican legal institutions in a society shaped by centuries of colonial rule. This talk examines how people attempted to meet that challenge in towns and in hacienda (agricultural estate) settlements. More broadly, it analyzes in what circumstances the creation of legal rule in nineteenth-century Mexico was successful and in what circumstances it failed.

Timo Schaefer is a historian of Mexican legal culture who currently teaches at Brandeis University and Boston University. His Ph.D. dissertation won the 2015 Esther L. Kinsley Ph.D. Dissertation Award from Indiana University and the 2015 CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts from the Council of Graduate Schools. Schaefer is the author of Liberalism as Utopia: The Rise and Fall of Legal Rule in Post-Colonial Mexico, 1820-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and of articles that have appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, Journal of Social History, and Third World Quarterly. His new project is a collective biography of social-movement leaders and politicians that aims to shed light on the informal politics of protest, repression, and democratic reform in Southern Mexico between 1980 and 2010.