Francie Chassen-López has had the honor of being named Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences, University Research Professor, and the Provost´s Distinguished Service Professor, and most recently she was appointed to the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities. 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 served as Director of Latin American Studies three times and was the first woman to chair the UK Department of History. In 2017, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece awarded her a Doctor Honoris Causa.
She has produced three single-authored books; two co-authored books; two short books; three edited short anthologies, and over 40 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 first book was Lombardo Toledano y el movimiento obrero mexicano, 1917-1940 (Editorial Extemporáneso, 1977).
Her 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 recently finished a biography, Mujer y poder en el Siglo XIX: La vida extraordinaria de Juana Catarina Romero, Cacica de Tehuantepec, which she wrote in Spanish, published by Penguin Random House and Editorial Taurus, Mexico City (2020). She is presently translating it into English with the tentative title, 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 reveals how women could attain and exercise power without the privileges of citizenship, and how others have represented that power.
Dr. Chassen-López has worked with the Latinx community both on campus and in the community. Dr. Chassen-López and Dr. Lourdes Torres were the first faculty advisors to LASO, the UK Latino American Student Organization (now LSU) when it was founded in the 1990s. 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. More recently, she served for a number of years on the Board of FLACA, the Foundation for Latin American and Latin@ Culture and Art, which organizes the yearly Latino Festival as well as supporting Latin American and Latino cultural events in the community.
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.