Department of History
Fulbright Hays Scholar
Riot, Rebellion, and State formation in the Mexican Huasteca 1750-1869
In 1987-1988. Michael Ducey, Associate Professor of History, spent eight months in Mexico City and a month in Toluca on a Fulbright-Hays research grant. While travelling, he spent three months in small towns and worked in Xalapa, the state capital of the region. Ducey's experience deepened his understanding of Mexican society and culture, and he developed professional networks that he relies on to this day. As a result, he was also able to take leave and occupy a research position with an institute in Mexico.
Ducey’s Fulbright project was a study of the social history of the Huasteca region located on the Gulf coast of Mexico in the area around Tampico. Previous research in this region was limited in scope. The area witnessed several major upheavals during the period from 1750-1869. Ducey established how social discontent played a role in state formation - how popular discontent stymied elite projects in state building - and how he local politics of rural Mexico informed understandings about nationalist politics during the crucial period of transition from colonial to national republican rule.
Ducey's research proved to be fundamental to his career. It enabled him to write his dissertation and provided a “research reserve", and he is still mining information from the material he collected during this time. The Fulbright award made it possible to conduct the longest archival research of his career.