Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

5/1/2010 - 9/30/2010

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Revolutionary Nature Conservation in 1930s Mexico

FAIN: FT-57483-10

Emily Wakild
Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC 27109-6000)

By 1940, Mexico had forty national parks, more than any country in the world. My project seeks to explain why a nation on the heels of Revolutionary upheaval and in the midst of an extensive reform project chose to embrace the conservation of nature. I am applying for an NEH summer stipend to fund six weeks of research and four weeks of writing to complete the final additions to my manuscript. In it, I argue that the reconfiguration of society articulated in the policies of President Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) depended upon a rational and inclusive understanding of the natural world, one that might today be interpreted as sustainability. Because the Revolution claimed to defend rural people, policy makers crafted policies that took into account the needs of users and the recognition of natural vulnerabilities. The study revises misconceptions about the historical origins and applications of conservation policy in Latin America.