Dr Keith Brewster
Senior Lecturer in Latin American History

Introduction

I joined the School in 2003 after having spent five years as a Research Associate at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge. My interest in Latin America dates back to the 1980s when I spent 18 months travelling the continent. On returning to England, I continued my passion for the region at Warwick University, completing a doctoral thesis on Mexican rural political history in 1996. Since then I have had the great fortune to share my enthusiasm for Latin Amerca with countless undergraduates, and periodically recharge my batteries with research trips to Mexico City and beyond.

Roles and Responsibilities

My main teaching roles are to offer tuition and supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for topics related to the History of the Americas.

In the recent past, I have been actively involved in student recruitment, representing History at both School and University Open/Visit Days and collaborating with the International Office regarding international student recruitment.  I was also Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Historical Studies from 2008-2011.

Qualifications

PhD in History (Warwick)
BA (Hons.) in Comparative American Studies (Warwick)

Previous Positions

2002-2003 Associate Fellow, Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge; temporary lecturer, Dept. of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Bristol.
1997-2002 Research Officer, Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge.
1996-1997 Lecturer, Department of History, University of Warwick.

Memberships

Society of Latin American Studies
British-Mexican Society

Associate Fellow of the Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge

Languages

Spanish

Undergraduate Teaching

One of the joys of my job is that I can share my passion for Latin America with my students: which is just as well as I currently offer a shed-load of undergraduate modules on Latin American history from first-year survey modules to document-based modules on the Mexican Revolution.

Current modules I offer include:
HIS1046 The History of the Americas
HIS2047 Twentieth century Cuba
HIS3084 The Mexican Revolution
HIS3002 Latin America Through the Foreign Gaze

I also supervise 3rd year dissertations on Latin American topics and contribute towards a 3rd year historiographical module (again looking at Latin American texts)

Postgraduate Teaching

I teachon the MA module HIS 8034: 'The Indian Problem' in Latin America

I am happy to supervise students on any topic related to my own areas of research expertise

Research Interests

My main area of interest and expertise is twentieth century Mexican history and culture.  Recent publications reflect my interest in post-revolutionary Mexican society and the nature of socio-cultural reforms. More specifically, I am analysing the political manipulation of sport and sporting events. This has formulated around two specific projects:

The first project was part-funded by the AHRC and concerned the political and social implications of Mexico City’s hosting of the Olympic Games in 1968.

The second project was part-funded by the British Academy and analysed the political and social significance of the Pentathlón Deportivo Militar Universitario, a nationalist Mexican youth organisation formed in 1938.

Other Expertise

An off-shoot of my earlier work on militarism and leadership was a research topic looking at the role of spiritism within the Mexican army during the 1920s. This led to some slightly wierd, but fascinating findings!

Current Work

I continue to be actively involved in research relating to twentieth century Mexican identity.  I am currently working on a monograph the traces the devleopment of moern sports in Mexico from the 1880s to 1960s.

Future Research

My present interest on the links between sport, politics, culture and society offers considerable potential for future research. I am particularly keen to broaden my analysis away from Mexico and place it within a comparative context. As such, I envisage conducting future research in other areas of the Americas and collaborating with scholars looking at similar developments in other parts of the world.

Research Roles

I have successfully supervised one Ph.D student who researched the broader context behind the Black American podium protest at the Mexico City Olympics.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise postgraduates in any area of Latin American history and culture for which I have expertise. Topics might include:
- the Mexican Revolution and post-revolutionary period
- caciquismo and rural political history in Latin America
- indigenous resistance in Latin American history
- the politics of culture (especially in the field of sport)
- the history of the Modern Olympics

Esteem Indicators

I am regularly invited to contribute towards conferences and publications, both at home and overseas, on the topics of my research expertise.

Funding

British Academy small research grant (£4430). Title: The political aims of the Pentathlon Deportivo Militar Universitario (1938-1960s).

AHRC Research Leave Grant (£26,394). Title: Representing the Nation: Sport and Spectacle in post-revolutionary Mexico.

Projects