Dr. Stephen Neufeld

Contact Information

Voice: 657-278-7463
Fax: 657-278-2101
Dept: 657-278-3474


Stephen Neufeld, Ph.D.

Professor of History


Stephen Neufeld studies the military, culture, and nation in modern Mexico and Latin America, and has begun a new project on animal-human relations in late 19th century Mexico. He has published The Blood Contingent: The Military and the Making of Modern Mexico, 1876-1911 (University of New Mexico Press, March 2017) and as coeditor, Mexico in Verse:  A History of Music, Rhyme, and Power (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2015), as well as numerous book chapters and articles on Mexican history.

In a life before academia, Dr. Neufeld worked as a kung fu instructor, planted over one million trees in northern Canada, taught English in South Korea and in Taiwan, and travelled in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. He worked for a year in Vancouver on the Indian Residential Schools legal case, reading and coding letters and documents. Dr. Neufeld's spends his free time reading fantasy, playing video games, and still traveling whenever he can.


2009, Ph.D., Latin American History, University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona)

2003, M.A., Latin American History, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Research Areas

Nation formation in Latin America, Military history and culture, Gender history, Environmental and animal history, Cultural history in Mexico and Latin America.

Courses Regularly Taught

HIST 110A World History


HIST 453A Colonial Mexico

HIST 453B Modern Mexico

HIST 451C Modern Latin America

HIST 490T World History of Piracy

HIST 501 Graduate Theory

Grants & Special Projects

Current Research Projects:

Dr. Neufeld currently has one active project he is working on. This monograph project, tentatively titled Perilous Beasts, explains the changing dynamics of the human and animal coexistence in Mexican society from the 1870s to 1920s. This work creates a new basis for understanding the relationships of animals with humans as a building-block for seeing broader trends in socio-cultural history and environmental transformations. It seeks to gather various fields of social existence (home, work, streets, markets, and so on) into a tapestry through the common denominator of the non-human inhabitants. It will be the first such work done for modern Mexico, for an audience not only of historians, but also for scholars of moral ecology, urban studies, geography, anthropology, and other fields. In general, it will offer a picture of a rapidly changing world, and within it, both the dark side of man in blood-sports and cruelty, and his better angels in protecting strays and loving pets. Among other topics, it addresses animal control measures, hunting clubs, bullfighting, medical testing, and military dogs.