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Personal profile

Research interests

I trained as a historian and work across the fields of languages and cultures. I led many interdisciplinary projects across the arts, humanities and social sciences, and have applied the findings of this research to policy and shaping public opinion. I have travelled from archive-based analysis of the social and global history of early nineteenth-century warfare, to future-focused co-production of historical memory in the 2000s, and from the study of war and culture to sports and society in South America. The central thread to this research has been the place of play in society, and the way in which embodied practices are used to legitimate or resist power.

Bringing Memories in from the Margins (MEMPAZ) is an interdisciplinary investigation of the creative ways in which marginalized communities in Colombia have used arts-based methodologies to resist violence: have a look at our website, https://mempaz.com/. MEMPAZ was funded by (2018-2023) by the Newton Fund, AHRC, Research England, the University of Bristol and the Ministerio de Cultura.

The Quipu Project is a transmedia documentary, film and archive about the unconsented sterilizations 1990s Peru https://ahrc-blog.com/2020/05/28/ending-the-silence-the-quipu-project/.

My most recent book is Sports in South America: A History (2023), published by Yale University Press. It shows how South American soccer culture, envied worldwide, sprang out of societies that were already playing and watching games well before British sportsmen arrived to teach “the beautiful game.” These vibrant and distinct sporting traditions, including cycling, boxing, cockfighting, bullfighting, cricket, baseball, and horse racing, were marked by South American societies’ Indigenous and colonial pasts and by their leaders’ desire to participate in what they saw as a global movement toward human progress. Drawing on a wealth of original archival research, it debunks legends, highlights the stories of forgotten sportswomen and Indigenous sports, and unpacks the social and cultural connections within South America and with the rest of the world.

From Frontiers to Football: An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800 (2014) was a general history of Latin America's engagement with the world, which gives equal importance to sport alongside diplomacy, popular culture alongside commerce. I am currently working on a research project on the history of sport in South America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

I welcome enquiries from potential research students across these fields. 


External positions

Editor, Historia y Sociedad

30 Sept 2014 → …

Editor, Bulletin of Latin American Research

1 Apr 201430 Mar 2017


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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