Professor Dawson earned a PhD in Latin American History from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1997, and came to SFU in 2003 after spending five years at Montana State University. During his time teaching in the US he also spent periods at The University of Florida and Yale University. During his early career Professor Dawson worked mainly on the process of state formation in revolutionary Mexico (1910-1945). His work examined the role of anthropologists, teachers, bureaucrats, and indigenous activists in remaking the relationship between indigenous peoples and the state during this era. After concluding this work, Professor Dawson wrote a book on the experience of globalization in Mexico since 1989. His current research explores the ways in which the concept “Indian” was understood across North American boundaries during the twentieth century. The project is as much an attempt to understand larger phenomena that all three North American nations share, as to understand the ways in which indigenousness cannot and does not cross the border. As such, this project will illuminate the ways in which indigenous identities are constructed across the region, and will challenge essentializing (often racist) narratives and practices across the region. At this point his research is focused on two phenomena that seem to cross the borders but whose meanings seem distinctly rooted in regional and national phenomena, the indigenous boarding schools and the social and cultural practices associated with peyote. His publications include Indian and Nation in Revolutionary Mexico (2004).
Books by Alexander Dawson
- by Alexander Dawson