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Haverford College
Department of History

James Krippner

Professor of History

Office: Hall 215
Phone: 610.896.1049




James Krippner offers courses on Latin America and Mexican history, with a special focus on cultural history and visual culture. Recent courses include surveys of the history of Latin America and Mexican cultural history from antiquity to the present. His most recent seminars have focused on the role of visual culture (painting, printmaking, photography and film) in representations of Mexico and "Mexicanidad" ("Mexicanness," or Mexican national identity) from the late 18th century through the present.


Professor Krippner's research concentrates on historiography and representations of the past in Mexico. In his new book, Krippner explores the power of visual culture in representing the history. He is especially interested in photographers and the images they produced in Mexico from the 1920s through the 1940s. Krippner’s first book explores the relationship between history (what happened) and historiography (the writing of history). It examines the compilation of primary sources recording the conquest of Michoacán, Mexico from 1521-1565, and the subsequent twists and turns of historical interpretations based on these sources from the 16th through the late 20th centuries. In a sense, it is a "history of a history," one that explores the production of meanings concerning a specific conquest narrative in various social, cultural and political contexts.

His second book, Paul Strand in Mexico, 1932-34 contributes to the history of photography as well as Mexican cultural history. Krippner was recently interviewed by Mexico City newspaper, Reforma, about Paul Strand. Read the article (in Spanish)> PDF

Recent publications:


  • Paul Strand in Mexico, 1932-34 (New York: Aperture, Forthcoming 2010).
  • Rereading the Conquest: Power, Politics and the History of Early Colonial Michoacán, Mexico, 1521-1565 (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001).

Selected Articles

  • "Traces, Images, and Fictions: Paul Strand in Mexico, 1932-34," The Americas (2007): 359–83.
  • "Recent Work on Late Colonial Mexico," Latin American Research Review 37:2 (2002), 236-243.
  • "Invoking Tata Vasco: Vasco de Quiroga, 18th-20th Centuries," The Americas 56:3 (January, 2000), 1-28.