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Audrey Fals HendersonGraduate Student

I am a first-generation, Latinx PhD candidate who specializes in agrarian transformation, land justice movements, and urban development in the Valley of Mexico. My project assesses how indigenous peoples and migrants in central Mexico used agricultural and legal strategies to improve environmental and social conditions in one of the world's largest makeshift cities, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl.

My passions include environmentalism, mentoring underrepresented students in higher education, and social justice. These themes play integral roles in my teaching philosophy and research. I have taught History of Mexico, Society and Environment in Latin American History, and Global Farming: Food, Power, and Progress at the UNC-Charlotte and Latin America: A History at Emory. I am a firm believer that creating a supportive space for critical historical analysis allows students to make sense of global inequality and become active agents of change. Over the years, I have received generous support from the James R. Scobie Award (Conference on Latin American History), FLAS Grant in Nahuatl (U.S Department of Education), Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies Scholarship (Yale University), Joseph Mathews Prize (Emory University), John Robson Piedmont Sustainability Fellowship (Emory University), and Professional Development Support Funds (Emory University). In 2014, I was awarded a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship honorable mention. Last year, I was the 2019-2020 Dean’s Teaching Fellow for the Center of Faculty Development and Excellence (CDFE).

If you have any questions about my research or the graduate program, please feel free to contact me.


  • BA in Anthropology with a concentration in Applied Anthropology, UNC-Charlotte, 2009
  • MA in Latin American Studies, UNC-Charlotte, 2013
  • MA in History, Emory University, 2017

Research Interests

Mexican History
Agrarian Studies
Development History
Indigenous Legal Studies
Environmental History

Dissertation Topic

"Indispensable Resources: Land, Labor, and Agrarian Movements in the Valley of Mexico, 1850s-1960s"

Faculty Advisors

Yanna Yannakakis
Thomas D. Rogers
Clifton Crais