Matthew O'Hara F'13

Matthew  O'Hara
Professor
History
University of California, Santa Cruz

ACLS Fellowship Program 2013
Associate Professor
History
University of California, Santa Cruz
The History of the Future in Mexico

Historians and other humanists have spent a great deal of energy studying historical legacies. The notion that “the past weighs heavily on the present” is now a standard mode of analysis in the humanities. Moving beyond this paradigm, this project turns our attention to the more common, but overlooked historical practices of "futuremaking" and the management of risk. This study examines how Mexicans thought about, planned for, and manipulated a future full of risk from the mid colonial period into the early republic, roughly 1650-1850. This project offers scholars a more robust model for the study of time experience. It also takes Mexico's and Latin America's past, and past futures, on their own terms, rather than viewing them through a prism of relative underdevelopment.