Francie Chassen-Lopez

  • Professor
  • History
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Social Theory
  • Latin America Studies
  • Jewish Studies
1771 Patterson Office Tower
Research Interests:

Ph.D., National Autonomous University of Mexico


Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, Francie Chassen-López was also recently named Provost´s Distinguished Service Professor. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and her B.A. from Vassar College.  Before she returned to the U.S., she taught in Mexico City for ten years, first at the National University and later at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, where she attained the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. She continues to work closely with colleagues in Mexico City and Oaxaca.  She has been visiting researcher at both the Institute for Sociological Research and also at the Humanities Institute of the University of Oaxaca. She has twice served as Director of Latin American Studies and was the first woman to chair the UK Department of History.

She has produced two single-authored books; two co-authored books; two short books; three edited short anthologies, and 37 journal articles and books chapters. She writes fluently in both Spanish and English, and several of her articles in English have been translated into Spanish. Her article “Maderismo or Mixtec Empire?  Class and Ethnicity in the Mexican Revolution: Costa Chica of Oaxaca, 1911,” published in The Americas (55:1, 1998) earned her the Tibesar Article Prize from the Council on Latin American History and also the Hallam Article Prize awarded by the UK Department of History.

Her most recent book, From Liberal to Revolutionary Oaxaca: The View from the South, Mexico 1867 -1911, was awarded the Thomas McGann Prize for the Best Book published on Latin American History in 2004 by the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies. The American Historical Review described it as “a powerful and remarkably comprehensive study that will be an essential reference on the subject for many years to come.”

Dr. Chassen-López is now writing a biography of Juana Catarina Romero (1837-1915), tentatively entitled Gender and Power in Nineteenth Century Mexico: Juana Catarina Romero, Cacica of Tehuantepec. While tracing Romero’s breathtaking transformation from humble cigarette vendor to wealthy entrepreneur and behind-the-scenes politician, this monograph explores the interplay of gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and power in the context of nineteenth century nation building. It will reveal how women could attain and exercise power without the privileges of citizenship, and how others have represented that power. A recent article in the Hispanic American Historical Review investigates Romero’s role in the development of modernity and consumerism in southern Mexico while another study in the Journal of Women’s History analyzes the politics of the representation of Romero (as portrayed by Salma Hayek) in a 1994 Mexican historical soap opera.

Dr. Chassen-López supports the Hispanic community both on campus and in the community. She is faculty advisor to LASO, the UK Latino American Student Organization. She has done spots on local TV and radio in Lexington as well as Oaxaca, and written an occasional piece for the Bluegrass’s bilingual newspaper, La Voz de Kentucky.  Committed to issues of diversity, fairness, and human rights, she was a founding member of the Kentucky Coalition on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Areas of Specialization

Postcolonial Mexico, especially nineteenth century, with an emphasis on gender, ethnicity, nation-building, and capitalism; women’s and gender history in Latin America since Independence; culture and society in Latin America.

Selected Publications: 

Books Sole author:

Books Co-author:

  • Diccionario histórico de la Revolución en Oaxaca with Anselmo Arellanes, Héctor Martínez Medina, Víctor Raul Martínez Vásquez, Francisco José Ruiz Cervantes and Carlos Sánchez Silva. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana, 2000, 3rd ed.
  • La Revolución en Oaxaca 1900-1930 co-authored with Héctor Martínez, Carlos Sánchez, Francisco José Ruiz Cervantes, Víctor Raúl Martínez Vásquez, and Anselmo Arellanes. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1993.

Selected Articles:


HIstory 207 Modern Latin America

History 561 Culture, Ideas, and Society in Latin America

HIstory 562 Modern Mexico

HIstory 563 Women and Gender in Latin America

History 638 Readings in Contemporary Latin American History

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