Casey Lurtz is a historian of modern Latin America and currently an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International & Area Studies. She will be joining the History Department at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2017.


I am a historian seeking to understand how rural people understood, encountered, and shaped the world beyond their horizons and the landscapes beneath their feet. While mostly focused on Latin America, I am invested in tracing ties that stretched across oceans, in looking at how even a worn-down cabin at the end of a dirt trail became part of a globalized world.

My current project, From the Grounds Up: Community, Exchange, and the Building of a Coffee Economy in Southern Mexico, 1867-1920, uses the development of southern Mexico's coffee economy to explain how engagement with global markets was shaped by resilient local political and social structures. The project also engages the history of global migrations and provides a picture of localized international commerce in the hands of Mexican and foreign planters, merchants, and politicians. It is under contract with Stanford University Press.

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I teach courses related to Latin America, Mexico, commodities and the history of capitalism, migration, development, and the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. In Fall 2017 I will be teaching Modern Mexico from the Alamo to El Chapo at Johns Hopkins University.


Education &
Past Postitions

I received my Ph.D. with distinction in Latin American History from the University of Chicago in 2014. I was the Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History at the Harvard Business School from 2014-2015, and a fellow at the UC San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies from 2013-2014.

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