Lecturer in Discipline (CSER)
Dr. Carlos Gerardo Zúñiga Nieto is a lecturer at the History Department and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. Previously, he worked as a visiting assistant professor of history at Boston College’s Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and held a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. In addition, he earned a PhD in Latin American History and the Caribbean from Columbia University. His specialty is colonial and modern Latin America with a focus on labor, legal, cultural and urban history, crime and punishment, and social justice—especially in Mexico—as well as particular attention to how conceptions of belonging, citizenship, and exclusion have shaped the social and historical roots of justice, crime, and law.
His current book project, Shouting the News: Newsboys in the Making of Modern Mexico, 1870–1931, reveals the fascinating and important role of Mexico’s newsboys—youths who hawked newspapers on street corners—in the country’s economic, legal, cultural, and social development drawing on judicial sources, periodicals, plays, novels, and music. He is writing an article that explores the various reasons why newsboys participated in the civil war in the streets of Mexico City beginning in 1913, as well as how newsboys engaged in the rhetoric of the Mexican Revolution in the streets during protests, marches, and strikes.
He is currently teaching History of Childhood in the Americas, Introduction to Latinx Studies, and Latinx Environmental Justice at Columbia. He has taught courses such as How Democracies Die: Politicization of Emotions, Global History of Emotions, Encountering Inequalities: The Historical Politics of Inequality, Latinx Environmental Justice, History of Childhood in the Americas, Environmental Origins of Displacement in the Americas, and Global History of Mass Incarceration. His writings have appeared in Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Global Studies of Childhood, and Hispanic American Historical Review.
His second project, Manure Pollution Wars: The Rise of Pork Factory Farms and the Struggle for Environmental Justice in the Greater Caribbean, 1970–2000, shows how and why environmental inequalities were created as rural Yucatán became a magnet for businesses in search of cheap labor with no oversight. It also explains how class and racial politics have influenced manure pollution with the consolidation of pork factory farms in rural Yucatán that began in the 1970s. Southeastern Yucatán has become the epicenter of Mexico’s pork production due to its strategic access to the United States and Asia through the port of Progreso. This environmental, labor, and business history of industrial-scale pig farming reveals the unimaginably high cost of cheap food for Indigenous Maya communities in modern Yucatán.
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