Distinguished Lecturers
Anthony P. Mora

Anthony P. Mora

Anthony Mora is currently an Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. His principal research interests focus on the historical construction of race, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. Southwest. He is currently writing a history of the fictional character of Zorro from 1919 to the present. The iconic swordsman serves as a means of tracing the changing representations of Mexican Americans, historical memory, and U.S. regionalism. Mora's first book, Border Dilemmas: Racial and National Uncertainties in New Mexico, 1848-1912 (2011) explores how the first generations of Mexicans living in the United States grappled with the racial and national ideologies that circulated along the nineteenth-century border.

Mora has also been the PI for a project to increase the diversity of graduate students pursuing Ph.D.'s in the humanities. This multi-campus project has brought together faculty from the University of Michigan, the University of New Mexico, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. Before joining the University of Michigan, Mora previously taught history at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Mass. Mora teaches courses on Mexican American history, Latina/o history, and the history of sexuality.

OAH Lectures by Anthony P. Mora

Since 2015, a small team at the University of Michigan, the University of New Mexico, Morehouse College, and Spelman College have worked to build cross-campus relationships as a means of increasing the diversity of perspectives in humanities graduate programs. The lecture outlines the history of the program, our core components, and specifics about our challenges.

Zorro, a fictional Spanish/Mexican vigilante, has had an astounding longevity as an iconic hero in U.S. popular culture since his first appearance in The Curse of Capistrano (1919). Over the past century, the character has been reinvented countless times in novels, films, comic books, and television shows. Intriguingly, this Latino character’s most popular outings have coincided with the moments of greatest anti-Mexican sentiment in the U.S. In this lecture I take up that concurrence to question what it has meant that this heroic Latino character has been hiding in plain sight for 100 years.

Although not well remembered today, the Cisco Kid once occupied a central place in U.S. popular culture. By the 1950s, this fictional Mexican hero could be found in films, comics, novels, and even a popular television series (one of the first ever produced in color). This lecture asks how did Cisco intersect with assumptions about Mexicans and Mexican Americans' long history in the United States? Indeed, the character's own unlikely trajectory included unexpected twists and turns.

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources