Isaac Peter Campos
Romance Languages and Literatures - Affiliate Faculty
History - Tenure-Track Faculty
320D McMicken Hall
Professor Campos teaches Latin American history. His main expertise is in modern Mexico and the history of illicit drugs. He is generally fascinated by the history of ideas, culture, and transnational phenomena. These interests are reflected in his book, Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico's War on Drugs (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), which examines the development of marijuana's reputation for causing madness and violence in Mexico from the sixteenth century down to its nationwide prohibition in 1920. In the process, the book chronicles the development of prohibitionist approaches to drug use in Mexico and the origins of drug-war policies in that country. It also demonstrates how Mexican ideas of "reefer madness" deeply influenced how people came to understand this drug in the United States. He is currently at work on a history of drug policy in Mexico during the 1930s told from the perspective of the drug users who were most affected by those policies. Professor Campos has also worked for the National Security Archive where he did research on Mexico’s “dirty war” of the 1970s, Cuban-Mexican relations, and the War on Drugs since 1969. He teaches a variety of classes, from introductory surveys to graduate seminars.
Ph.D., Harvard University, 2006.
A.B., University of Michigan, 1995.
Peer Reviewed Publications
Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012)
“Degeneration and the Origins of the War on Drugs,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 26, no. 2 (2010): 379-408
"In Search of Real Reform: Lessons from Mexico's Long History of Drug Prohibition," NACLA Report on the Americas 44, no. 3 (2011): 14-18
“Mexico’s Illegal-Reefer Madness,” Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2009
“¡La Gente Manda!”, Nueva Época, no. 630–631 (2003): 32–40
Latin American History Survey (3 parts).
The Mexican Revolution.
Drugs in the Americas and in Historical Perspective.
Topics in Latin American History (Graduate Seminar).