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Beau Gaitors

Assistant Professor


I am a historian of modern Latin America with an emphasis on African descendants in the nineteenth century. My research specifically explores the process of abolition, political and economic positions of African descendants, and the socio-cultural experiences of African descendants in Mexico during this timeframe.  I earned my Ph.D. in Latin American History at Tulane University and spent one year as a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico (COMEXUS 2013-2014) conducting research on African descendants in Mexico.


My current book project examines the history of Afro-Mexicans in the early independence period. The book argues that Mexico’s African descendant population provides a crucial window into the political, social, and economic realities of the African diaspora in the nineteenth century.  I also have research interests focused on tropical disease and eradication in nineteenth and extends to early twentieth-century Latin America. This research engages the question: How did a variety of political actors discuss tropical diseases, such as yellow fever and malaria, and what specific preventative measures they enacted among varying groups of citizens?


Prior to coming to the University of Tennessee,  I was an Assistant Professor of History at Winston-Salem State University where I taught courses on the African diaspora, Atlantic history, historical methods, and led study abroad experiences to Cuba to explore the island’s African descendant history. At the University of Tennessee, I teach courses on Afro-Latin America, Mexico, and Modern Latin America. 


Ph.D., Tulane University, 2017

M.A., Purdue University, 2010

B.A., Brown University, 2008

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