David Tamayo is a historian of modern Latin America. His scholarship integrates the histories of right-wing politics, the middle classes, and Latin America's interconnectedness with the world. He is currently writing a book, tentatively titled, "Remaking the Right: Mexico's Middle Classes and the Rise of Transnational Conservatism." His book project examines the Right's resurgence in post-revolutionary Mexico by focusing on the influence of American service clubs, particularly Rotary and Lions International, which attracted middle-class Mexicans from the early 1920s. By looking beyond institutions traditionally associated with the Right, such as political parties and groups linked to the Catholic Church, Dr. Tamayo's manuscript reveals a long history of conservative political activism through supposedly non-political and secular charitable organizations. His original approach and source base to examining the Right in Mexico uncovers the transnational circuit of ideas and resources that linked Latin America, the United States, and the Atlantic world in the past century. This story matters because it highlights the ways in which the Right, under the guise of apolitical service, undermined political movements that sought to address deep-seeded social, racial, and economic inequalities.
Before coming to the University of Michigan, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Santa Clara University where he taught Mexican, Borderlands, and US Latinx history. In 2019 he also completed a year-long pedagogy course through the Association of College and University Educators. As an immigrant from Tijuana, Mexico and a community college student, Dr. Tamayo is committed to supporting students of color and non-traditional backgrounds, including first-generation, low-income, and non-native English speakers. In the past he has taught ESL to adults and has participated in mentoring programs for underserved high school students in southern California. At the University of Michigan, he looks forward to building on these past experiences and contributing to the institution's mission of promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion.
Fields of Study
- Latin America, especially Mexico, 19th-21st centuries
- The histories of the Latin American Right and the middle classes
- Transnational history
- Borderlands history
- Remaking the Right: Mexico's Middle Classes, American Service Clubs, and the Rise of Transnational Conservatism (in-progress book manuscript).
- "'Clubismo' in Post-Revolutionary Mexico: An Overview of the Emergence of Service and Social Clubs in Puebla and Tijuana, 1920-1960," in Mexico in Focus: Political, Environmental and Social Issues, ed. José Galindo Rodríguez, (Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publisher’s, Inc, 2015), 217–36. Spanish edition: "'Clubismo' en el México posrevolucionario: un análisis sobre la emergencia de los clubes sociales y de servicio en Puebla y en Tijuana, 1920-1960," in México contemporáneo: Aspectos económicos, políticos y sociales, (Xalapa: Universidad Veracruzana, 2018).