Kevin Terraciano

Associate Professor


Fields of interest:  Latin America


Kevin Terraciano received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1994 and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1995.  He is now associate professor of history, chair of the Latin American Studies Program, and associate director of the Latin American Center.  He specializes in colonial Latin American history, especially Mexico and the indigenous cultures and languages of central and southern Mexico.  The following pages and links outline his research, teaching, and service at UCLA, the international academic community, and in Los Angeles.


Terraciano's prize-winning first book, The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford University Press, 2001), is a social and cultural history of the Mixtec people of Oaxaca, Mexico from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, based on Mixtec-language texts, pictorial writings, and Spanish-language documents from the period.  The Mixtecs received the Wheeler-Voegelin Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory for the best book published in the field of ethnohistory in 2001; the Bolton-Johnson Prize (honorable mention) from the Conference on Latin American History (American Historical Association) for the best book on the history of Latin America published in 2001; and the Cline Prize from the Conference on Latin American History for the best book on the Indians of Latin America published in 2001 and 2002.

    book abstract:  The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca


Most recently, Terraciano has collaborated with Professors Lisa Sousa (Occidental College) and Matthew Restall (Penn State University) on a volume of edited, translated, and analyzed native-language texts from Colonial Mexico and Guatemala, titled Mesoamerican Voices: Native-Language Writings from Colonial Mexico, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Guatemala (Cambridge University Press, 2005).  Nearly all of the translated texts were written in the Nahuatl, Mixtec, and Yucatec Maya languages.

    book abstract:  Mesoamerican Voices


Terraciano has published several articles related to his research in Oaxaca. He received the Heizer Prize from the American Society for Ethnohistory for an article titled "Crime and Culture in Colonial Mexico: the Case of the Mixtec Murder Note" (Ethnohistory 45:4, 1998).  Another article, titled "The Colonial Mixtec Community," published in the Hispanic American Historical Review (80:1, 2000), won the Robertson prize (honorable mention) from the Conference on Latin American History.  Most recently, Terraciano and Lisa Sousa received the Heizer Prize from the American Society for Ethnohistory for an article titled "The 'Original Conquest' of Oaxaca: Late Colonial Nahuatl and Mixtec Accounts of the Spanish Conquest” (Ethnohistory, 50:2, Spring 2003). 

    list of recent articles


Terraciano continues to present papers and give talks in local, national, and international settings to academic and public audiences.

    list of some recent conference papers and presentations


Terraciano is engaged in two ongoing long-term research projects: the translation of Zapotec-language writings from the Valley of Oaxaca, and a study of race and gender relations in late colonial Oaxaca City.  Three more immediate research projects include the study of a 16th-century Mixtec palace in Oaxaca called "La Casa de la Cacica," the translation and analysis of a 16th-century Nahuatl-language manuscript from Oaxaca known as the Códice Sierra, and a study of the invasion of Mexico Tenochtitlan based on Native, Spanish, Mestizo, and Creole accounts from the colonial period.  Terraciano is also collaborating with James Lockhart and Stuart Schwartz on a new edition of the text titled Early Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 1983).

   summary of ongoing projects



Terraciano teaches various lecture courses and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  In 2001, he won the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. In 2002, he was awarded the UCLA Academic Advancement Program Faculty Recognition Award for his work with students from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds.

    list of courses offered

Terraciano is serving as chair of several graduate students in early Latin American history. He also serves on the doctoral committees of students in related fields of History (including modern Latin America, colonial United States, early modern Europe, Africa) and from other departments, including: Anthropology, Art History, Linguistics, Sociology, and Spanish Literature. In addition to formal teaching duties, he leads two seminars (introductory and advanced) on Classical Nahuatl. He also teaches early modern Spanish paleography to graduate students in the colonial field.


Graduate students who are interested in a dissertation project involving Nahuatl-language writings may work jointly with Professors Lockhart and Terraciano. 

    list of current doctoral advisees and recent graduates



Terraciano is actively involved in serving the university, profession, and community at many different but complementary levels

    university and community service, and recent awards for service


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