Alejandro Quintana

Associate Professor
Ph.D., 2007, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Latin American HistoryM.A., 2004, Hunter College, CUNY, Latin American HistoryB.A., 1993, UPAEP, Puebla, Mexico, Architecture

Alejandro Quintana is assistant professor of history at St. John's University since 2008.  He received his Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2007.  Before joining St. John's University, he was a visiting professor at Connecticut College. His academic interests include the cultural legacies of authoritarianism, nationalism, sovereignty, state formation, and democratic processes in nineteenth and twentieth century Latin America, especially Mexico.  In 2010 he published Maximino Ávila Camacho and the One-Party State: The Taming of Caudillismo and Caciquismo in Post-Revolutionary Mexico.  The book was translated into Spanish and published in Mexico the following year as: Maximino Ávila Camacho y el Estado unipartidista: La domesticación de caudillos y caciques en el México posrevolucionario.  In 2012 he published Francisco Villa: a Biography, as part of Greenwood’s biographies series. 

His current research project analyzes the intellectual evolution of major Mexican thinkers during the process of Mexican independence (e.g. Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, Lucas Alamán, José María Bustamante). The goal is to better understand general issues of state formation and national identity and, in particular, the role that Mexican Creole national identity may or may not have played in the creation of the modern Mexican state.

Prof. Quintana's pedagogical approach is based on the Writing Across the Curriculum movement, which uses a variety of pedagogical techniques to help students understand course materials, enhance their reading and writing abilities and improve critical thinking.

May 2, 2015. Panel Organizer and Moderator at the Symposium World History Theory and Practice: Gender, Technology and Culture organized by St. John’s History Department.  Panel: “The Emergence of a Global Economic Culture.”

March 26-27. 2015. Symposium and Panel Organizer and Presenter, St. John's University’s CLACS Symposium: Looking Beyond the Fence: Politics, Power, and the Future of U.S. Immigration. Panel: US Immigrant Experiences. Presentation: “Need Them, Don’t Want Them: The History of Mexican Migration to the US.

January 3, 2015. Presenter, 129th American Historical Association Annual Meeting, CLAH, Purifying the Body Politics: Exile and Execution in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Latin America, “Mier and Freedom of Thought in the Late New Spain and Early Mexico.

December 10, 2014, Columbia University Seminar on Law and Politics, “Mier: Political Thought and the Creation of a New Nation”

April 14, 2014. Presentation titled Interdisciplinary Research Roundtable—Tuning the Core as part of St. John's University’s CTL workshops.

April 5, 2014.  Presenter, Mier and Creole Intellectualism: the Emergence of new colonialism in post-independence Americas. The 42nd Annual National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference (NAES), Research as Ceremony: Decolonizing Ethnic Studies at Mills College Oakland.

March 17, 2014. Presentation at the Institute for Writing Studies in St. John's University on Low-Stakes Writing Assignments.

April 13, 2013. Presenter: Pancho Villa, Immigrants and Mexicanness: Changing Perceptions of Ethnicity in the Revolutionary Mexico. Presented at the annual conference of the National Association of Ethnic Studies, Fort Collins, CO.

April 4, 2013. Presenter: Maximino’s Personality Cult and the Creation of the post revolutionary Mexican State. University Seminar on Latin America, Columbia University, New York, NY.

March 21, 2013. Presenter: Fray Servando Teresa de Mier and Creole Liberalism, 1794-1821. Junior Faculty Research Colloquium, St. John’s University, Queens, NY.

January 9, 2011. Presenter at the panel Scoundrels, Politicos, and Prostitutes: Mythmaking in Latin American History. Paper titled: “Saint Maximino: The Mechanics of Personality Cult in Post-Revolutionary Mexico.” Presented at the 125th Annual American Historical Association (AHA) Meeting, Boston, MA.

September 14, 2010. Speaker: “Pancho Villa and the Legacy of the Mexican Revolution” as part of semester-long programming to celebrate the 100 and 200 year anniversaries of Mexican Independence and Revolution organized by the Latin American Studies and Women Studies, The University of Scranton, PA.

October 3, 2009. Chair and Presenter: Indigenous Movements in Latin America: Past, Present and Future. Paper titled: “Agrarian Reform or Coercion of Peasant Leaders? Cardenas and Avila Camacho in Puebla, Mexico (1937-1941).”  Presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS), Schenectady, NY.

November 7-8, 2008. Moderator: 1968 in the Global South. St. John’s University, New York, NY.

January 2007. Panel Organizer and Presenter: Interest Groups and the Consolidation of Authoritarian States: The Construction of Mexico’s Revolutionary Regime.  Paper titled: “With a Gun in His Hand: Maximino Ávila Camacho and the 1941 Challenge to Presidentialism.”  Presented at the 121st Annual American Historical Association (AHA) Meeting, Atlanta, GA.



Pancho Villa: A Biography. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2012.

Maximino Ávila Camacho y el Estado unipartidista: La domesticación de caudillos y caciques en el México posrevolucionario. Translator  Marta Donís. Mexico: Educación y Cultura, 2011.

Maximino Ávila Camacho and the One-Party State: The Taming of Caudillismo and Caciquismo in Post-Revolutionary Mexico.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010.


“Inventing Mexico: Fray Servando Teresa de Mier and the Emergence of National Identity,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos (under review), 40 pp.

“La Invención de la Historia Nacional y su Utilidad,” Nueva Crónica. Lima, Perú. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, No. 4 (2014), 30 pp. Online.

“Violence and Revolution in Latin America during the American Century,” History, Routledge, Vol. 40, No. 1 (January, 2012): pp. 5-8.

Undergraduate Courses:

  • HIS 1000C The Emergence of Global Society, 1500-Present (core curriculum)
  • HON 2200C The Emergence of Global Society (for Honor students)
  • HIS 2331 Colonial Latin American History (survey)
  • HIS 2332 Modern Latin American History (survey)
  • HIS 2001 Early Ancient Civilizations (survey)
  • HIS 2990 Seminar: Introduction to Historical Research
  • HIS 3150 History of Inter-American Relations
  • HIS 3301 History of Mexico
  • HIS 2340 Pre-Columbian Civilizations

Graduate Course:

  • HIS 220 Nationalism and Revolutions in Modern Latin America
  • HIS 702 Doctoral Seminar: War, Revolution and Peace
  • HIS 703 Doctoral Seminar: State and Society
  • HIS 719 The Contemporary World