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Margarita R. Ochoa - Loyola Marymount University. Los Angeles, CA, US

Margarita R. Ochoa

Associate Professor and Associate Chair of History | Loyola Marymount University


Department of History, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts



Margarita R. Ochoa Publication Margarita R. Ochoa Publication Margarita R. Ochoa Publication






Dr. Ochoa is author and historian of Latin America. At Loyola Marymount University, she is a tenured Associate Professor of History and teaches courses on colonial and modern Latin American topics. Her research examines the intersections of identity (race, class, gender, and Indigeneity) with systems of power and the law in colonial and early national Mexico. She is co-editor of Cacicas: The Female Indigenous Leaders of Spanish America, 1492-1825 (OU Press, 2021) and City Indians in Spain's American Empire (Sussex, 2012). She has published several book chapters on gender and the history of emotions and is currently completing an article, “Indigenous Women in Colonial Latin America,” for Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies. In addition, Dr. Ochoa is working on an oral history project, “The Inclusive History and Images Project,” a university-wide collaborative effort seeking to recover the silenced histories of LMU’s BIPOC communities. Dr. Ochoa also serves on the Board of Editors for Ethnohistory and the Advisory Board for the Atlantic Crossings series published by the University of Alabama Press.

Dr. Ochoa is a first generation Mexican American, proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, and the first in her family to go to university.

Education (3)

University of New Mexico: Ph.D., History 2011

University of New Mexico: M.A., History; Minor in Political Science

University of California at Los Angeles: B.A., History

Areas of Expertise (10)

Colonial Latin American History

Women, Family, and the Law in Colonial Latin America

Race, racial mixture, racial classifications in colonial Latin America

Aztec Empire (aka Mexicas; aka Triple Alliance)

Law and Legal Culture

Nahuas and Nahuatl

Indigenous Histories

History of Mexico (colonial and modern)

Mexican Revolution of 1910

Cuban Revolution of 1959

Accomplishments (1)

Best Collaborative Book Award (professional)

Winner: Cacicas: The Indigenous Women Leaders of Spanish America, 1492-1825. Grupo de Estudios Sobre la Mujer en España y las Américas, 2022.

Affiliations (6)

  • Editorial Board, Ethnohistory
  • Advisory Board, Atlantic Crossings Series, University of Alabama Press
  • American Historical Association
  • American Society for Ethnohistory
  • Rocky Mountain Council on Latin American Studies
  • Grupo de Estudios Sobre la Mujer en España y las Américas (GEMELA)

Languages (5)

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese (advanced oral and written fluency)
  • Nahuatl (advanced reading comprehension)
  • Paleography (classical Nahuatl; early modern Spanish)

Media Appearances (3)

Interview on New Books Network Podcast

New Books Network  online


Podcast interview for Cacicas. Part of New Books Network series on new books in women's history.

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Book Presentation for Jornadas Virtuales de Historia de América

Jornadas Virtuales de Historia de América  online


Invited presentation of Cacicas for the Jornadas Virtuales de Historia de América, a network of historians organized by the Universidad de Extremadura, Spain and the Universitat Jaume I, Spain.

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Interview with ESNE TV



Live interview with ESNE TV to discuss the significance of Pope Francis' visit to Chile and Peru in January 2018.

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Research Grants (1)

BCLA College Fellowship

Loyola Marymount University 

Spring 2020

Courses (9)

First Year Seminar: History of Race and Gender

First Year Seminar for incoming students to LMU focused on the history of race and gender in colonial Latin America.

Colonial Latin America

History of the Americas, from the zenith of Aztec influence to the dawn of Latin American independence. Topics include: Aztec and Inka empires; Indigenous language histories; race relations; women and gender; Trans-Atlantic slave trade; African diaspora; Asian trade; silver mining; Catholic Church; missions; Indigenous communities and uprisings; and Independence.

Modern Latin America

History of the Americas, from Independence to the present. Topics include: Independence; slavery and abolition; nation-building; US-Latin American relations; liberalism and modernization; neoliberalism and free trade; "the problem of the Indian"; race relations; women and gender; Cold War, state tyranny, and civil wars; the pink tide; organized crime and drug cartels; impunity; and displacement and emigration of populations.

Modern Mexico

History of Mexico, from Independence to the present-day. Topics include: late colonial changes (Enlightenment, Bourbon Reforms, race and gender); Independence; national identity formation; War of U.S. Aggression (aka Mexican-American War); Benito Juarez and the Second Mexican Empire; El Porfiriato and Indigenous genocide; Mexican Revolution of 1910; populism, education, and muralism; Golden Age of Mexican Cinema; single-party authoritarianism and the Tlatelolco Massacre; neoliberalism; EZLN/Zapatistas; drug cartels and autodefensas; political corruption, murder, and impunity; and the historical causes of population displacement and emigration.

Women in Colonial Latin America

An advanced course that examines women (Indigenous, African, Asian, mixed-race (casta), Spanish, Portuguese, and Trans) from diverse racial, ethnic, class, and geographic backgrounds and the roles they played in the development of colonial Latin American society.

Race in Colonial Latin America

An advanced course that examines the complicated history of race in Latin America. In this class, we consider how colonial Latin Americans used race to organize society, and how this social construct shaped the experiences of men and women of different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographical backgrounds. Topics include: racial classification, racial mixture, and cultural hybridity; law and legal culture; Indigenous classes and ethnicities; African slavery and emancipation; Asians; gender, sexuality, and the family; changing concepts of masculinity and femininity; gendered, class, and race-based notions of honor; and race and citizenship.

Latin American Revolutions in Film

Advanced history course focused on the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Central American civil wars, and twentieth and twenty-first century films.

Seminar: The Mexican Inquisition

Advanced history seminar on the Holy Office of the Inquisition in colonial Mexico. The course includes a Reacting to the Past learning component.

Seminar: Social Justice in Latin America

Advanced history seminar that examines contemporary Latin American problems and identifies and debates just solutions to those problems.

Articles (2)

Illicit Relations in a Multi-Ethnic City: Emotions, Fidelity, and Economic Obligations in Colonial Mexico

Courtship, Marriage and Marriage Breakdown: Approaches from the History of Emotion

Margarita R. Ochoa

This article explores marriage, adultery, and emotions in colonial Mexico.

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'Por faltar a sus obligaciones': Matrimonio, género y autoridad entre la población indígena de la ciudad de México colonial, siglos XVIII y XIX.

Los indios y las ciudades de la Nueva España

This article explores marriage, gender, and power from the perspective of Mexico City's Indigenous populations in the late colonial era.

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