Ink under the Fingernails: Printers and the Material Politics of Print in Nineteenth-Century Mexico City


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines transformations in Mexico City’s printing industry across the long nineteenth century. It argues that urban printers—cosmopolitan figures caught between manual and intellectual worlds—shaped politics and broader social and cultural change not only through their printed products, but also through shifting connections to, and negotiations with, powerbrokers and the emerging national state. By exploring the “material politics” of print—industry practices, its main actors, their social position and aspirations, networks, and activities—it considers not only how printers contributed and responded to state formation, but also how they shaped the meanings of print as it transformed from a colonial technology of power to a more multivalent and ambiguous medium.