About our staff
Dr Julie Gibbings
Lecturer in the History of the Americas
Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History
Affiliated research centres
I am a historian of Modern Latin America and Indigenous histories of the Americas more broadly. My research examines histories of social struggles over political modernities and racial inequalities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
I was born and raised in the western Canadian prairies as a settler in Treaty 4 territory of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. I was trained as a Latin American historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the territory of the Ho-Chunk people, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE).
At Edinburgh, I am the Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History and Lecturer.
Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:00-13:00
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Latin America
- North America
- Medicine, Science & Technology
- Nineteenth Century
- Twentieth Century & After
I am a historian of Modern Latin America, and the indigenous Americas more broadly. My work centers on the nexus of race, gender, and class exclusions, and social struggles over modernities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
My first book manuscript, Our Time is Now: Race and Modernity in Postcolonial Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2020) analyzes how historical time itself was at the center of political struggles over the meaning of modernity among diverse actors ranging from Q'eqchi' Mayas to German settlers and their mixed-race offspring. In highlighting the many meanings and potency of time, this book also disrupts linear historical narratives and modern notions of human agency and causation.
I also recently edited (with Heather Vrana, University of Florida), Out of the Shadow: Revisiting the Revolution from Post-Peace Guatemala (University of Texas Press, 2020), which centers on Guatemala's revolution of 1944-54, one of the most important events in Latin American history. Showcasing cutting edge new research by senior and junior scholars from the global north and south, this edited volume sheds new light on the many revolutions that were fought over during Guatemala's "Ten Years of Spring" and their enduring legacies.
My writing has received awards including the James Alexander Robertson prize and the German History Society Best Article Prize.
At present, I am working on a new British Academy-funded research project on the cultural and social history of Cold War cartography in Guatemala. Centered on Guatemala's bloody 36-year civil war (1960-1996), this book will examine how different ways of understanding and apprehending the earth, or what I call geo-epistemologies, shaped diverse struggles over imagined political futures in the midst of unthinkable state violence.
Indigenous Peoples and Revolution in Modern Latin America
Cartography, Territory, and Identity
Narrating Native Histories
Currently accepting research student applications : Yes
Areas accepting Research Students in:
I am currently accepting students interested in Modern Latin America (19th and 20th centuries), and would supervise a wide-range of topics including indigenous histories as well as histories of labour and capitalism, race and racism, as well as histories of cartography and political violence. Please feel free to contact me to discuss a proposed topic.