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Gary Van Valen

Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar


Assistant Professor
University of West Georgia

Photo: Gary  Van Valen

Dr. Gary Van Valen received a Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar award in Fall 2009 to support research on When the Pueblos were not Indians. At the time, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of West Georgia.

Van Valen is a historian of Latin America and indigenous peoples who teaches classes in these fields as well as in Atlantic and World history. His research centers on ethnohistory and cultural contact in Bolivia and New Mexico. He is the author of Indigenous Agency in the Amazon: The Mojos in Liberal and Rubber-Boom Bolivia, 1842-1932 (Arizona, 2013), which won the American Society for Ethnohistory’s Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award, as well as several articles. His current project is a history of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico during the period of Mexican rule.



Title of Research : When the Pueblos were not Indians

While at UNM, Van Valen drew upon library archives to examine the history of the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico during the period of late Spanish and Mexican rule from 1814 to 1846.  In particular, he examined documents from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico and the Mexican Archives of New Mexico, which are held in the Center for Southwest Research.