Jeremy Baskes

Professor of History; Director of OWU Global Studies Institute; Director of the Latin American Studies Major


  • B.A., Grinnell College
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago


Born in Chicago, Dr. Jeremy Baskes began his career at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1993. Baskes completed a B.A. in Spanish in 1983 at Grinnell College, where he became committed to the value of a liberal arts education, a quality that attracted him to OWU. He spent his second semester of junior year studying in Seville, Spain, a life-changing experience that influenced his career ambitions and shaped his approach to teaching. In 1987, Baskes obtained an M.A. in Latin American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then enrolled in a doctoral History program at the University of Chicago, culminating in a 1993 Ph.D. In August of that same year, Baskes joined the OWU faculty, where he has taught for 31 years. 

Baskes' teaching fields are geographically and temporally broad, encompassing all of Latin America from the pre-Hispanic era to the present. He has greatly relished the opportunities to introduce decades of students to the exciting history of Latin America, offering a wide array of courses from an introductory survey of the region to courses on Mexico and South America examining both the colonial and modern eras. Topical seminars have explored the Spanish Conquest of America as well as the causes and consequences of Twentieth-Century revolutions in Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba, and Nicaragua. 

Baskes has served on many faculty committees during his time at OWU, including the Faculty Personnel Committee and numerous stints on the Academic Policy Committee and the Curriculum Committee. He also created Latin American Studies, an interdisciplinary major focused on the region's language, history, politics, and culture. Baskes also envisioned, helped launch, and headed the Global Scholars Program, which recruits top-notch students to OWU to focus their studies with an international lens. In 2020, the program was renamed the Thomas and Susan Palmer Global Scholars Program following the Palmers' gift of $2 million. Importantly, Baskes ensured that the Latin American Studies major and the Global Scholars Program required students to study abroad, with the hope that OWU students, too, will be positively inspired by such experiences. 

Baskes is the author of two books, both published by Stanford University Press. Published in 2000, Indians, Merchants, and Markets explores the economic relations between Spanish merchants and indigenous peasants in eighteenth-century Oaxaca, Mexico, challenging the conventional belief that their dealings were purely coercive. As Baskes argues, Oaxacan peasants were shrewd judges of their economic interests and succeeded in extracting benefits in their market activities, especially the production of cochineal dye, Mexico's second-largest export product. A Spanish translation of Indians, Merchants, and Markets will be collaboratively published later this year by three universities in Mexico titled Comerciantes, indígenas, y mercados. 

Baskes' second book, Staying Afloat, was published in 2013 and examines transatlantic commerce in the eighteenth century, most centrally Spain's trade with its Spanish American colonies. Traditionally depicted as a highly regulated system in which wealthy merchants earned monopoly profits, Baskes argues that historians have failed to consider the elevated rates of risk that such commerce entailed, from inclement weather to piracy to highly volatile markets. Indeed, merchants often enjoyed large returns, but these were countered by occasional ruinous losses. Profitability was neither guaranteed nor extravagant. In addition to these books, Baskes has published numerous refereed articles and more than two dozen book reviews. 

In retirement, Baskes looks forward to pursuing his favorite pastimes: travel and food (cooking and eating). Indeed, his newest scholarly project explores the diets of dockworkers in the city of Cádiz, Spain, in the 1760s. Fortunately, this will require Baskes to travel to Spanish archives to read about food during the day and explore Spanish restaurants and culture at night.

Read his complete CV.


Other Professional Activities

  • External Personnel Reviewer, Davidson College, Denison University, University of North Florida, and Bowling Green State University.
  • External Program Evaluator, Allegheny College, International Studies Program, March 2009.
  • Conference on Latin American History: Mexican History Book Prize, 2014.
  • Conference on Latin American History: Tibesar Outstanding Article in The Americas Committee, 2008.
  • Book manuscript reviewer: University of Arizona, Oxford University, Routeledge, University of Oklahoma, Westview Press, and Harvard University.
  • Article manuscript reviewer for Ethnohistory, Estudios Interdisciplinarios de America Latina y el Caribe, Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, Colonial Latin American Review, Mexican Studies, The Americas, and Colonial Latin American Historical Review.
  • Business History Review: Latin American Book Review Sub-Editor, 1999 to 2007.
  • Conference on Latin American History: James Robertson Outstanding Article in HAHR, 2005.
  • Conference on Latin American History: CLAH-Best English Language Article Prize Committee, 2002.
  • Conference on Latin American History: Organizer, Program Committee, 2002.
  • Conference on Latin American History: Scobie Prize Award Committee, 1999.
  • Conference on Latin American History: Organizer, Program Committee, 1998.
  • The Historian: Latin American Book Review Sub-Editor, 1993-95.
  • Ohio Academy of History: Referee, Dissertation Award Committee, 1994.

Winner of the 2024 Bishop Herbert Welch Award for Scholarly or Artistic Achievement

Contact Info


Elliott Hall #110
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3638