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Professor Matthew Brown

Professor Matthew Brown

Professor Matthew Brown
M.A.(Edin.), Ph.D.(Lond.)

Professor in Latin American History

Area of research

Latin American history from independence to the present

Office 15 WR
15 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 7002


I am a historian of Latin America. You can find me on twitter at @mateobrown.

My book From Frontiers to Football: An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800 (2014) is a general history of Latin America's engagement with the world, which gives equal importance to sport alongside diplomacy, popular culture alongside commerce.

I am currently working on a research project on the history of sport in South America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

I am proud to be working with Chaka Studio and Dr Karen Tucker on the Quipu Project ( a transmedia documentary about the unconsented sterilizations of hundreds of thousands of Peruvians in the 1990s. The project has been supported by the AHRC REACT-Hub, the University of Bristol and the public through a crowdfunding campaign.

I occasionally blog about Latin American Independence, with a particular focus on its international context, at You can find full transcripts and photos of an event I hosted at Canning House, London, on 5 September 2012, which discussed Britain's role in the independence of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador in the early nineteenth-century.

My collective biography of the men who fought at the Battle of El Santuario, 17 October 1829, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012 as The Struggle for Power in Post-Independence Colombia and Venezuela (2012). The table of contents and introduction are available online at Una traducción al castellano saldrá a fines de 2015.

A co-edited (with Dr Gabriel Paquette of Johns Hopkins University) volume Connections after Colonialism: Europe and Latin America in the 1820s came out in 2013 with the University of Alabama Press (,5542.aspx).

A research database of over 3,000 foreign adventurers who took part in the Wars of Independence in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, (the subject of my book Adventuring through Spanish Colonies) is available to consult online.

I am currently supervising four PhD students: Andrés Baeza, researching the cultural history of Chilean-British relations in the independence-era, Bárbara Castillo, working on urban narratives in Santiago de Chile, Andrew Primmer working on the history of railways in Colombia, and Fernando Padilla, researching the volunteer movements associated with Cuban independence. Alastair Wilson completed his PhD on British merchant networks in the Philippines in the mid-nineteenth century, in 2011. Rupert Medd completed his PhD on travel writing about Peru in the last two centuries, in 2013.


I teach undergraduates units including From Frontiers to Football: Latin American history 1806-1930; From Football to Farándula: Latin American history 1930-2010, and Contemporary Latin American History. I contribute to introductory survey units on Latin American and Hispanic Studies, and to co-taught School of Modern Languages units on History and Memory.


I arrived at the University of Bristol in 2005 via the University of Edinburgh, University College London, Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, Spain, and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. I worked for a decade on Simón Bolívar and the Independence of South America from colonial rule. I am now moving into the history of sports in South America, looking in particular at the very first football teams to be established.


I teach a broad range of units on Latin American history and supervise Masters and Doctoral researchers on subjects as diverse as Colombian music festivals, naval battles, urban chronicles in Chile, migration and slavery in Venezuela and the history of panela.


  • Latin American History

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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