Dr Thomas Rath


Thomas Rath was an undergraduate at UCL History, then went to Oxford for their MPhil in Latin American Studies, and after that to Columbia for a PhD, awarded in 2009. Thom joined UCL in 2012, after holding a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Hamilton College in New York.

Thom is interested in how political authority and legitimacy have been made and unmade in Latin America. His research focuses on state and nation building in modern Mexico, with forays into related themes. His first book used the history of the military after the Mexican Revolution to explore national and regional politics, violence, gender, and debates about citizenship and history. He is currently writing a monograph about a massive outbreak of animal disease in Mexico in the early Cold War, and how it transformed the Mexican state’s relationship with the countryside, science, and the international context. Thom is also working on a study of the origins of one the defining features of Mexico’s so-called Drug Wars: the militarization of domestic security. It explores militarization as a political and institutional process since the 1960s, and as a concept shaping public debates about democracy and contemporary history. This research engages with studies of securitization and the Cold War, the politics of memory, and human rights.  Along with colleagues, Thom convenes the IHR seminar on Latin American History. He welcomes applications from students whose research overlaps with his thematic interests, particularly those focused on Mexico.

Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

2009  PhD  Columbia University 
2003  MPhil  University of Oxford 
2001  BA  UCL 

Courses taught

HIST2418 History, Memory, Democracy: Politics and the Past in Modern Latin America
HIST2900 Rebels, Artists, Experts, Diplomats: Foreigners and Revolutionary Mexico c.1910-1960

Major Publications

IRIS Researcher Profile 

Dr Thomas Rath


History|*|History of animals|*|Latin America|*|Memory|*|Mexico|*|Political violence|*|State formation|*|gender|*|history of science|*|nationalism|*|politics