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Jeremy Mikecz

digital, spatial, environmental, & social historian

scholar of Latin America and the Indigenous Americas

teacher, runner, traveler, and cheesehead*

*Wisconsin native


Jeremy Mikecz

I am a historian specializing in the study of colonial Latin American and Indigenous history. My research combines the methods of digital, spatial, environmental and ethno-history as a means to recover the history of marginalized peoples.

At the core, I am animated by the possibility of uncovering previously untold (hi)stories and turning well-known stories upside down.

In my research, I experiment with the use of digital tools to reconstruct a history 'from below,' especially that of Indigenous peoples during the early modern era. I specialize in the history of contact-era and early colonial Peru, but my interest in early modern Indigenous-European encounters spans the Western hemisphere

My research shares three fundamental goals with my research: innovation, immersion, and inclusion. I am constantly experimenting with teaching methods, including ways to immerse my students in the 'foreign-ness' of the past. I always seek alternative voices - in both subject matter and among my students themselves - as a means to create a more inclusive pedagogy and research agenda. For this last goal, I argue American History - by this I mean the history of the Americas - is Indigenous history just as Indigenous history is American history.

My past and ongoing research projects pose the following questions:

  1. How does our understanding of a dramatic and controversial event, like the Spanish invasion of Inka Peru, change when viewed from different perspectives and places? When the period's geography is given equal consideration to chronology?
  2. What can we learn about the historical profession by reading tens of thousands of book reviews?
  3. What can a 'distant reading' of 4 million place names tell us about Indigenous history and the way it has remained inscribed in the landscape?
  4. What new insights can we draw from the conversion of hundreds of colonial texts into maps and graphs? What buried patterns can be unveiled? How may these discoveries change the way we understand the consequences of European invasions of the Indigenous Americas and the Columbian Exchange?
  5. Why did Americans in the 1930s migrate from one place to another? How did social networks and migration chains connect distant places?
  6. How does our view of history change when we tell stories of places rather than stories of events?
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