Todd Little-Siebold is professor of history and Latin American studies and has been at the College since 1997. His undergraduate work in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., 1985) provided his initial exposure to Latin America. Returning to school after a stint as a pol...
Todd Little-Siebold is professor of history and Latin American studies and has been at the College since 1997. His undergraduate work in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (B.A., 1985) provided his initial exposure to Latin America. Returning to school after a stint as a political organizer and carpenter Todd pursued graduate work in history at U. Mass. (M.A., 1990) and then Tulane University (Ph.D., 1995) focused on the history of Guatemala in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His doctoral work under the direction of Ralph Lee Woodward was supported by a Fulbright Doctoral Research Grant and examined the regional dimensions of state formation in Guatemala from 1871 to 1945. Several pieces from this research have been published in English and Spanish, and he has co-edited a book with Jean Piel of the Université de Paris, VII, Entre Comunidad y Nación, inspired by collaborations while in Guatemala.
His second major area of research focuses on the politics of identity in Guatemala during the colonial era. This on-going research project focuses on the ways in which local identity politics co-existed alongside complex imperial socio-racial policies and legislation. The tension between local practice and imperial ideologies with regards to identity is the major emphasis of the work. Numerous of his conference papers and an article have explored the topic.
Todd's teaching is centered around the idea of providing a historical grounding for an education in Human Ecology with a wide range of courses intended to historicize questions for students. In collaboration with other faculty he teaches classes in European intellectual history and early U.S. history as well as courses on fisheries and agricultural history. Many of Todd's classes explore how power works in society. By looking at varied forms of power in diverse historical and geographical settings these courses seek to sensitize students to the processes and mechanisms behind the exercise of power and communities' responses to power. Todd also routinely teaches in the College's Yucatan Program with a focus on the politics of identity in the Yucatan Peninsula. He ran the College's Guatemala Program in 2005-2006 with an emphasis on community-based research in post-conflict situations.