Dr Mark Lawrence
I research war and society in the modern Spanish-speaking world. One of my most recent books is a regional study of Mexico’s Cristero rebellion ‘Insurgency, Counterinsurgency and Policing in Mexico’s Centre-West: Fighting Cristeros, 1926-1929’ (London: Bloomsbury, 2020). During the researching and writing of this project I was involved in several aspects of public engagement.
Since September 2019, I have been a partner in a museum project based in the city of Guadalupe in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, the region at the centre of my research. This museum will host the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the Cristero War in the state. For political reasons the memory of the Cristero civil war has been understated by several stakeholders in Zacatecas. My research is helping to inform an exhibition which will represent the war in its diverse aspects beyond the main themes of religion and anti-clericalism. I came to engage with this project through my work with the local media in the states of Zacatecas and Aguascalientes.
I have been interviewed twice on the subject of my research by a leading cultural affairs programme on Zacatecas radio (La Ele: 28.07.2018 and 03.08.2018). I have also been interviewed by the Heraldo de Aguascalientes, and two Zacatecas newspapers. This engagement led to invitations to speak at higher education institutions. My September 2018 guest lecture at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas was well attended and has since been highly viewed on social media (‘Porfiriato, revolución y cristiada: una perspectiva desde Zacatecas’). The regional focus of my research has generated impact beyond the bounds of academia. In 2020 KMTV filmed me on location in Zacatecas and I was the creative director for the documentary that resulted (‘La Cristiada – A Civil War’). The lengthier versions in English and Spanish include my participation in a panel debate. The English-language version is by far the most viewed broadcast on the University of Kent's 'Impact' page (‘La Cristiada – A Civil War: Think Kent Discovers Film and Panel’).