Studying for Corporate Imperialism: Mining Colleges, Racial Capitalism, and the Rise of Mexico’s Mining Technocrats, 1908-1996


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




This dissertation revisits the rise of mining intellectuals and foreign mining companies in Mexico through the dynamic lives of Mexican refugees-turned-technocrats in the twentieth century. Focusing on the US Southwest, this project uses environmental history, Science and Technology Studies, and deploys racial capitalism to explore how Mexican refugees-turned-technocrats, Indigenous mining laborers, and foreign mining companies shaped Mexico’s mining industry through a model termed “corporate imperialism.” “Studying for Corporate Imperialism” argues that Mexican refugees-turned-technocrats played a central role in the Mexican mining industry beyond being only laborers as they were powerful go-between intellectuals in the struggle for the future of Mexico’s mining industry on behalf of English, German, and U.S. companies. This epistemic community across the US-Mexico borderlands helped set the foundations for Canadian mining companies entrenched in Mexico and Latin America today.