Alexander Aviña is a historian and professor—and the son of undocumented migrants from Michoacán, Mexico whose sacrifices and love made these educational achievements possible. He is currently an Associate Professor of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University (ASU). He has taught previously at Florida State University and the University of Southern California. He holds a B.A. in History magna cum laude from Saint Mary’s College of California and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern California.
His research focuses on twentieth-century Mexico, with an emphasis on revolutionary movements, the Mexican Left, state violence and terrorism, immigration, and the history of narcotics production and trafficking.
His first book, a history of revolutionary guerrilla movements in southern Mexico (Guerrero) entitled Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. It received the “María Elena Martínez Book Prize in Mexican History” for 2015 from the Conference on Latin American History. He is currently writing a book on 1970s Mexico that locates the beginnings of a modern transnational political economy of narcotics within the terroristic counterinsurgencies launched by the Mexican state against rural revolutionary movements and their supporters.
In his engagement with a diverse array of media platforms, he comments on issues ranging from immigration, drug policy and Mexican politics to the history of revolutionary movements and empire in Latin America. He hopes to one day also comment on another obsession: fútbol.