Posted 05/11/2021 | Back
René Reeves, Ph.D. was born in Boston, MA and grew up mainly in the New England area. From an early age, he thoroughly enjoyed reading, especially when it came to historical content. When he first began college, he started off studying software engineering, but found he was more interested in Latin American studies as time went on. After attending Community Technical College, he matriculated to the University of Connecticut where he graduated with a B.A. in Latin American Studies. He later went on to earn both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Much of what he studied for his Ph.D. work would set the stage for his research and publications later on.
René began his career as a Professor of History at Fitchburg State University in 2000. He teaches courses on general history such as World Civilization and US History II, but his elective courses focus on the history of Latin America, with connections to Africa, Europe, and the United States. As far as research interests, René has always been fascinated with the political and social history of Mesoamérica, but focused specifically on Guatemala due to its complicated history of ethnic conflict. He was particularly fascinated with the history of the Maya during the period of Spanish colonialism and the post-colonial nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has traveled to Guatemala many times and even lived there for a 15-month stint, during which he salvaged documents from local and regional archives.
After years of extensive research, René wrote his first book Ladinos with Ladinos, Indians with Indians: Land, Labor, and Regional Ethnic Conflict on the Making of Guatemala. This book was originally published in English in 2006, and was later translated into Spanish and republished in 2019 by Guatemala’s national university. In 2012, he contributed a chapter on women and illegal alcohol production in nineteenth-century Guatemala in Distilling the Influence of Alcohol: Aguardiente in Guatemalan History, edited by David Carey. Currently René is working on an Open Education Resources (OER) textbook on Latin American revolutions. In the future, he plans to focus on the relationship between white supremacy and anti-communism in US foreign policy.
René currently resides in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He thoroughly enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and telemark skiing. He can hike from his front door to the Wapack Trail that runs from Mt. Watatic in Massachusetts to North Pack Monadnock in NH.