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Dr Nathaniel Morris

Nathaniel Morris is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the History Department. He specialises in modern Mexican history, above all connections between the Mexican Revolution of 1910-140, and the ‘Drug War’ wracking the country today. He is currently researching the history of Mexico’s indigenous militia groups, investigating the ties of history, memory, space and culture that link today’s communal militias to similar groups that helped to shape the Mexican Revolution, as well as the popular paramilitary forces that defeated the French invasion of Mexico in the 1860s. He is particularly interested in how the interactions between indigenous militias, government forces, and non-state actors such as drug cartels or revolutionary guerrillas, have impacted both the Mexican nation-state and the diverse ethno-cultural and socio-political identities of its inhabitants. His current project follows on from previous research projects concerning the roots of the modern Mexican drug trade, and indigenous participation in the Mexican Revolution. The latter is the subject of Nathaniel's recently published book, Soldiers, Saints and Shamans (available to buy here).  

Major publications

  • Soldiers, Saints and Shamans: Revolutionary State-Building and Indigenous Identity in Mexico’s Gran Nayar, 1910-1940 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2020) 
  • ‘Serrano Communities and Subaltern Negotiation Strategies: the Local Politics of Opium Production in Mexico, 1940 to the Present,’ Social History of Drugs and Alcohol (May 2020), Vol.43, No.1, pp.48-81
  • With R. Le Cour Grandmaison, and B. Smith, ‘The Last Harvest? From the US Fentanyl Boom to the Mexican Opium Crisis,’ Journal of Illicit Economies and Development (November 2019), Vol.1, No.3, pp.312–329 
  • ‘Memory, Magic and Militias: Cora Indian Participation in Mexico’s Wars, from The Reforma to The Revolution (1854-1920)’, Small Wars and Insurgencies (Aug. 2019), Vol.30, No.4-5, pp.841-71  
  • ‘¿“Forjando Patria”? Las políticas del estado revolucionario y el ocaso de los vínculos intercomunales coras en la Sierra del Nayar’, Relaciones (Autumn 2018)
  • ‘“Civilising the Savage”: State-Building, Education and Huichol Autonomy in Revolutionary Mexico, 1920-40’, Journal of Latin American Studies (November 2017)
  • Manuel Lozada, la ‘leyenda negra’, y el nacimiento del agrarismo en la conformación de Nayarit (Tepic: Gobierno del Estado de Nayarit, August 2017)
  • ‘Between Two Fires: Mayangna Indians in Post-Revolutionary Nicaragua, 1970-90’, Bulletin of Latin American Research (April 2014)

Grants and projects

Leverhulme Early Career Research Grant, for project entitled 'Communal Militias, Indian Autonomy and the Mexican State, 1850 to the Present'.

Teaching