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Dr Nathaniel Morris

Nathaniel Morris is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow attached to the History department. He is researching the rise of indigenous vigilante groups in the context of the 'Drug War' currently wracking Mexico, and the ties of history, memory, space and culture that link these communal militias to the popular paramilitary forces that defeated the French invasion of Mexico in the 1860s, and later played a vital role in the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1940. He is particularly interested in the way that the interactions between indigenous militias, non-state actors such as drug cartels or revolutionary guerrillas, and government forces, have helped to shape both the Mexican nation-state and the diverse ethno-cultural and socio-political identities of its inhabitants. This 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 first 'proper' book, entitled Soldiers, Saints and Shamans: Revolutionary State-Building and Indigenous Identity in the Mountains of Western Mexico, 1910-1940 (currently undergoing peer review with an academic press in the US).

Major publications

  • ‘¿“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'.