Peter Guardino

Provost Professor, Department of History

Department of History

IU; IU Bloomington

Full Biography

My work focuses on Mexico’s impoverished majorities in the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. In particular I am interested in social movements, state formation, nationalism and popular political culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Mexico. My first book, Peasants, Politics, and the Formation of Mexico’s National State: Guerrero, 1800-1857, (Stanford University Press, 1996) argues that Mexican peasants were well aware of the momentous political changes that came with independence and some groups participated actively in the movements and alliances through which Mexico’s national state was formed. My second book, “The Time of Liberty”: Popular Political Culture in Oaxaca, 1750-1850 (Duke University Press, 2005) focuses on how popular political culture changed in both rural and urban areas under the impact of the Enlightenment, the Bourbon Reforms, independence, and liberal republicanism. My third book, The Dead March:  A History of the Mexican-American War, is a social and cultural history of the 1846-48 war between Mexico and the United States. Focusing on gender, religion, and race, the project examines how soldiers and civilians in both countries understood and experienced the conflict. I teach graduate courses on colonial history, nationalism, and social movements as well as a variety of undergraduate courses on Mexico, modern and colonial Latin America, world history, and war.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Book Award for non-United States History, Society for Military History.  For The Dead March. (2019)
  • Bolton-Johnson Prize from the Conference on Latin American History for the best English-language book on any aspect of Latin American History.  For The Dead March. (2018)
  • Robert M. Utley Book Prize from the Western History Association for the best book published on the military history of the frontier and western North America from prehistory through the twentieth century. For The Dead March. (2018)
  • U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship (2008)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers (1999)
  • Indiana University Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (1997)
  • Advanced Research Grant, Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies (1996)
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego (1990-1991)
  • Social Sciences Research Council Fellowship (1988)
  • U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (1988)
  • International Institute of Education Fulbright Fellowship (1988)

Research Interests

  • Mexico
  • Latin America
  • political culture
  • war


  • B.A. at University of Chicago, 1985
  • M.A. at University of Chicago, 1986
  • Ph.D. at University of Chicago, 1992

Courses Taught

  • Latin American Culture and Civilization 2
  • The World in the Twentieth Century I
  • Colonial Latin American History
  • Modern Mexico
  • Nationalism and National Identity in Latin America
  • Social History of War



  • The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War.  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 2017.
  • “The Time of Liberty”: Popular Political Culture in Oaxaca, 1750-1850. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Peasants, Politics and the Formation of Mexico’s National State: Guerrero, 1800-1857. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.


  • “In the Name of Civilization and with a Bible in their Hands: Religion and the 1846-48 Mexican American War,”  Mexican Studies/EstudiosMexicanos 30:2 (Summer 2014) 342-365.
  • “Gender, Soldiering,and Citizenship in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848,” American Historical Review 119:1 (February 2014) 23-46.
  • “Los campesinos mexicanos y la guerra de independencia: Un recorrido.” Tzintzun 51(enero-junio 2010) 13-36.
  • Revuelta, rebelión y revolución revistado: La resistencia campesina y el estado nacional en México,” pp. 35-47 in Javier Garciadiego and Emilio Kourí, coords.. Revolución y exilio en la historia de México.  Mexico City: El Colegio de México/The University of Chicago/Ediciones Era, 2010.
  • “La iglesia mexicana y la guerra con Estados Unidos,” pp. 236-264 en Brian Connaughton and Carlos Rubén Ruiz Medrano, coords. Dios, religión y patria: intereses, luchas e ideales socioreligiosos en méxico, siglos xviii-xix. Perspectivas locales.  San Luis Potosí: Colegio de San Luis, 2010.
  • “La identidad nacional y los afromexicanos en el siglo XIX,” in Brian Connaughton, ed., Prácticas Populares, Cultura Política y Poder en México, Siglo XIX, (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa/ Juan Pablos 2008), pp. 259-301.
  • “No se nos debe desigualar: Movilización realista, ideario insurgente, y liberalismo español en Oaxaca, México.” Pp. 11-21 in Germán Cardozo, ed., Colectivos sociales y participación popular en la Independencia Hispanoamericana, (Maracaibo. Venezuela: Universidad del Zulia, Nacional de Antropología e Historia y El Colegio de Michoacán 2005), pp. 11-21.
  • “Community Service, Liberal Law, and Local Custom in Indigenous Villages: Oaxaca, 1750-1850,” pp. 50-65 in Sueann Caulfield, Sarah Chambers, and Lara Putnam, eds.,  Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), pp. 50-65.
  • “Postcolonialism as Self-fulfilled Prophecy? Electoral Politics in Oaxaca, 1814-1828, in Mark Thurner and Andrés Guerrero, eds., After Spanish Rule: Postcolonial Predicaments in the Americas, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2003), pp. 248-71.
  • “El carácter tumultuoso de esta gente’: Los tumultos y la legitimidad en los pueblos oaxaqueños, 1768-1853,” in Brian Connaughton, coord., Poder y legitimidad en México en el siglo XIX. Instituciones y cultura política, (Mexico City, MX: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa/Conacyt/Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 2003), pp. 181-205.