Professor of History

Sean McEnroe 2016

Office: Taylor Hall 216
Phone: (541) 552-6647

Sean McEnroe is an historian of the Atlantic world, specializing in religion, ideology, and state formation. His newest book, A Troubled Marriage, is a study of the literal and figurative marriages among European and indigenous communities throughout North and South America. His earlier work, From Colony to Nationhood in Mexico, describes the role of Indian leaders in the creation of modern towns and modern citizenship. As an archival historian, McEnroe works in manuscript and rare book collections in Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Canada. He is currently at work on a third book—this one a study of new beliefs about science and magic that mingled and spread in the Atlantic world during the nineteenth century.


Vassar College, B.A., History (Europe)
Lewis and Clark College, M.A.T, (Social Studies Education)
Portland State University, M.A., History (United States)
U.C. Berkeley, Ph.D., History (Latin America)


From Colony to Nationhood in Mexico: Laying the Foundations, 1560-1840 (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

A Troubled Marriage: Indigenous Elites of the Colonial Americas (University of New Mexico, 2020)

“Iberian Empires and Indigenous Allies” in Borderlands in the Iberian World: Environments, Histories, and Cultures, eds. Cynthia Radding and Danna Levin-Rojo (Oxford University Press, 2019).

“Spiritual and Earthly Conquests,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 14:3 (2013)

“Plato, Aristotle, and the Virgin of Copacabana” in Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Synoptic Methods and Practices, eds. Sylvia Sellers-García and Karen Melvin (University of New Mexico Press, 2017)

“A Confusion of Tongues or the Want of Schooling: A Carmelite Vision of Humble Penitents.” in Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Synoptic Methods and Practices, eds. Sylvia Sellers-García and Karen Melvin (University of New Mexico Press, 2017)

“Sites of Diplomacy, Violence, and Refuge: Topography and Negotiation in the Mountains of New Spain,” The Americas 69:2 (2012)

“A Sleeping Army: Diplomatic and Civic Structures on the Nahua-Chichimec Frontier,” Ethnohistory 59:1 (2012)

“Painting the Philippines with an American Brush: Visions of Race and National Mission among the Oregon Volunteers in the Philippine Wars of 1898 and 1899,” Oregon Historical Quarterly (2003). Winner of 2003 Joel Palmer Award.

“Oregon Soldiers in the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars, 1898-1899.” The Oregon Encyclopedia (Portland: Oregon Historical Society, 2015)

“Mexico.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History, ed. Trevor Burnard (Oxford University, 2011)


Professor McEnroe’s book reviews appear in The Americas, American Historical Review, Catholic Historical Review, Ethnohistory, Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, and New Mexico Historical Review. His letters and opinion pieces have appeared Harper’s, the Economist, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Oregonian, Ashland Tidings and Medford Tribune.


Before joining the SOU faculty, Professor McEnroe taught Latin American, European, and U.S. history at Reed College, Oakland University, and Oregon Episcopal School. He currently teaches a wide variety of courses on the history of Europe and the Americas. For history majors, he teaches research methods and supervises Capstone research.


Professor McEnroe has served as a panelist for the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and on the advisory boards for the Oregon History Project, the Americas Research Network, and Editorial Abya Yala (Quito). His book reviews appear in the Hispanic American Historical Review, The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Ethnohistory, The Americas, The Catholic Historical Review, and the New Mexico Historical Review. He has served as a contributing editor for the Handbook of Latin American Studies and is a regular contributor to panels for the American Historical Association, Conference on Latin American History, American Society for Ethnohistory, and the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association.  He is a peer reviewer for a variety journals, academic presses, and textbook publishers.