Michael Matthews

Associate Professor of History
Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 112B
2335 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
mmatthews6@elon.edu (336) 278-6424

Brief Biography

Growing up between Vancouver, Canada, Lima, Peru, and Barcelona, Spain, Michael Matthews developed an early childhood interest in how global forces of capitalism articulated themselves in different ways at the local level. He received his doctorate in History from the University of Arizona (a degree signed by the former Secretary of Homeland Security and the Regents of Arizona) and he has studied and taught Latin American and World History for over ten years. Since then he has transformed his dissertation (based on research undertaken in Puebla, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and Mexico City, Mexico and Austin, Texas) into a manuscript that was published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska Press, a study that examines the cultural dimensions of railroad development in Mexico between 1876 and 1910. He is currently working on an edited volume, Mexico in Verse:  A History of Music, Rhyme, and Power, that will be published next year by the University of Arizona Press. He is also an avid fan of Jeopardy.

Education

Ph.D. (History - 2008)  University of Arizona.

Dissertation: “Railway Culture and the Civilizing Mission in Mexico, 1876-1910.” (Advisors: Dr. William H. Beezley, Dr. Kevin Gosner, and Dr. Bert J. Barickman)

MA (History - 2002) Simon Fraser University.

Thesis:  "The Murder of Doña Guadalupe Ornelos: Problems with ‘Order and Progress’ in Porfirian Mexico." (Advisor: Dr. Richard Boyer)

BA (History - 2000) Simon Fraser University.

Employment History

Associate Professor of History, Elon University (2014-present)

Assistant Professor of History, Elon University (2008-2014)

Instructor, University of Arizona (2006)

Instructor, University of Arizona (2004)

Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona (2002-2007)

Graduate Issues Officer and Chair of Graduate Council, Simon Fraser University, (2001)

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Simon Fraser University, (2000-2001)

Editorial Assistant at the International History Review Journal, (1997-2001)

 

Courses Taught

HST/INT 221: The World in the Twentieth Century

GST 252: Costa Rica Study Abroad: Language, Culture, and Ecotourism

HST 301: Research Methods in History

HST 351: Modern Mexico

HST 353: Colonial Latin America

HST 354: Modern Latin America

HST 379: Crime and Criminality in Latin America

HST 468: The Mexican Revolution

Leadership Positions

Latin American Studies Coordinator (2013-present)

Chair, Distinguished Scholar Award Sub-Committee (2012)

Faculty Advisor, International Studies Society (2008-2011)

Current Projects

With his first manuscript complete, Dr. Matthews is now working on an edited volume that explores the role of poetry and song in modern Mexico (roughly covering the 1840s to 1980s). The project seeks to explore how marginalized groups—too often overlooked or deliberately ignored by scholars—used music, verses, poetry, and intimate letters as hidden and not-so-hidden transcripts that mocked, challenged, and subverted the ideological assumptions and dominant discourses expressed by  elite groups.   

Grants Awarded

2014                            Elon Faculty Research and Development Summer Grant.

2014                            Sabbatical

2011                            Elon Faculty Research and Development Summer Grant.

2009                            Hultquist Award.

2009                            Elon Faculty Research and Development Grant.

2005                            Barbara Payne Robinson Research Grant.

2003                            Tinker Foundation Summer Research Grant.

2001                            University of Arizona Hewlett Fellow.

Summer 2001               Fellow of Oaxaca Summer Institute.

 

Publications

The Civilizing Machine: A Cultural History of Mexican Railroads, 1876-1910. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013.

With Stephen Neufeld, eds. Mexico in Verse: A History of Music, Rhyme, and Power. Tucson: University of Arizona Press (forthcoming).

 “De Viaje: Elite Views of Modernity and the Porfirian Railway Boom.”  Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 26:2 (Summer 2010), 251-289.

“Una historia cultural del auge de los ferrocarriles en la época porfiriana: Patrimonio intangible del cambio tecnológico en México.” In Paisajes culturales y patrimonio en el centro-norte de México, siglos XVII al XX, edited by Carlos Rubén Ruiz Medrano, Carlos Alberto Roque Puente, and Luis Edgardo Coronado Guel. México: El Colegio de San Luis-Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), 2014.

 “The Track from Beyond the Grave: Challenges to Porfirian Policymaking in Popular Verse.” In Mexico in Verse: A History of Music, Rhyme, and Power, edited by Michael Matthews and Stephen Neufeld. Tucson: University of Arizona Press (forthcoming). 

Presentations

2014    “Costa Rican Study Abroad: Teaching Central American History in Comparative Perspective.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Durango, Colorado.

2012   “Rhythm, Rhyme, and Railroads: Challenges to Porfirian Policymaking in Popular Verse.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Park City, Utah.

2011 “Festivals of Progress: Railway Inauguration Ceremonies in Porfirian Mexico.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2010 “El Camino de Ultratumba: Porfirian Railway Development in Popular Verse.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Boulder, Colorado.

2009 “La Loco-matona: Porfirian Railway Development and the Catholic Opposition.” Paper presented at the South Eastern Council for Latin American Studies, New Orleans, Louisiana.

2008  “The Price of Progress: Popular Perceptions of the Railway Accident in Porfirian Mexico.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Flagstaff, Arizona.

2007  “De Viaje: Elite Views of Modernity and the Porfirian Railway Boom.”  Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2004 “Robbers and Railroads: Towards a Social History of Porfirian Development." Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2003  “The Murder of Doña Guadalupe Ornelos: The Problem of ‘Order and Progress’ in Porfirian Mexico.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Tempe, Arizona.

Invited Lectures

2012 "La historia cultural del auge de los ferrocarriles en la época porfiriana: patrimonio intangible del cambio tecnológico en México." Lecture delivered at the Semanario Internacional: Paisajes Culturales y Patrimonio in San Luis Potosí, México.

2010 “The Art of Implementing Revolution: Lázaro Cárdenas and the Mexican Muralist Movement.” Paper presented at A Hundred Years after the Mexican Revolution for the Consulate General of Mexico in Raleigh in partnership with North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue's Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs at the State Capitol Building in Raleigh, North Carolina.      

 

Service Activities

National Fellowships Advisory Committee (2012-present)

Faculty Research and Development Committee (2011- 2013)

Distinguished Scholar Award Sub-Committee (2011- 2013)

International Studies Committee (2011-present)

Organizing member of International Education Week (2010)

Curriculum Committee (2009-2010 – one-year appointment)

Phi Alpha Theta History Essay Contest Committee (2009-2010)

Library Committee (2009-11)

 

 

Skills

LANGUAGES

Advanced Proficiency: Spanish

Reading Proficiency: Portuguese