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Gerardo Rios

Ph.D. candidate in history, UC San Diego

Residency: September 2014 – March 2015

Research Project: Patria Chica, Infierno Grande: Tlaxcala in the Throes of Liberal Reform, Dictatorship, and Mass Upheaval, 1853-1929

Research Interests: ethnocide and genocide studies, indigenous communities in central Mexico, indigenous rebellions in 19th century Mexico, popular political culture in 19th century Latin America, revolutions and mass violence in the 20th Century

Public Talk: “Por la Patria Chica: Tlaxcala's Indigenous People in the Throes of Liberal Reform, Autocracy, and Mass Upheaval, 1853-1924" on March 4, 2015


Gerardo Rios is a San Diego native with cultural roots in the states of Puebla and Baja California. He holds a master’s of arts degree in history from San Diego State University (2009), and has taught history, world geography and English-language development in public schools. Rios has done historical investigations in numerous archives throughout central Mexico and institutions such as Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) and the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (BNAP).

His dissertation looks at how Liberal reformers in Mexico transformed society through the privatization of communal lands and mechanization of agriculture, particularly in the state of Tlaxcala, which is located in the densely-populated high central plateau. The project examines how after the Mexican Revolution the everyday negotiations between the victorious generals from Sonora and armed indigenous communities from the center-south paved the way for the creation of a post-revolutionary state, which left a legacy of single-party rule.