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Matthew D. Harris

Major Field

United States and International History

Minor Fields

Latin American History, Early American History, and Nineteenth-Century U.S. History


James Siekmeier

Research Interests

Mr. Harris studies the foreign policy of the United States towards Latin America with a focus on Indigenous and Black communities. His dissertation, titled Imagining Neighbors, studies how U.S. policymakers imagined the identity of Indigenous Central Americans and incorporated those ideas into their desire to occupy the region. The work broadly analyses U.S involvement in Yucatan's Caste War, aggression on the Mosquito Coast, and attempts to build the first isthmian canal project while restoring historical agency to Indigenous communities.

Courses Taught
  • HIST 152: Growth of the American Nation to 1865
  • HIST 153: Making of Modern America since 1865
  • HIST 241: Latin America, Conquest and Colonization
  • HIST 242: Latin America, Reform and Revolution

"Condemning Colonization: Abraham Lincoln's Rejected Proposal for a Central American Colony," The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 8 (Spring 2018): 47-66.

Book Review: From the Halls of the Montezumas: Mexican War Dispatches from James L. Feaner, Writing Under the Pen Name, "Mustang", edited by Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press, 2019. On Point: The Journal of Army History. (September 2020).