Dr. Amilcar Challu

Amilcar E. Challu, Ph.D.

Position: Associate Professor and Department Chair
Graduate Faculty
Phone: 419-372-2769
Email: achallu@bgsu.edu
Address: 132 Williams Hall

Website: https://bgsu.academia.edu/AmilcarChallu



  • American Historical Association
  • Asociación Mexicana de Historia Económica
  • Latin American Studies Association


I joined the faculty of the Department of History at Bowling Green State University in 2006. I am a historian of Mexico and Latin America who focuses on poverty, nutrition and inequality, and their connections to economic institutions, governance and natural environments. I integrate qualitative and quantitative methodologies to document and explain changes in human wellbeing and inequality. Through the analysis of government documents, literature, and public discourse, I elucidate perceptions and views that inform attitudes and policies towards climatic disasters, inequality and malnutrition. By creating datasets of average human heights and real wages, I document and explain major changes in economic welfare, health and nutrition. In Bowling Green State University, I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of capitalism, development, and the environment, as well as general courses on Latin America. Graduate and undergraduate students under my supervision typically work on topics related to environmental history and Latin America. I am heavily involved in initiatives related to the environmental humanities, Latin American and Latinx Studies, and more generally the insertion of History in the university curriculum.

Fields of Study

  • Latin American history (Mexico, colonial, modern)
  • Inequality and human wellbeing, including health and nutrition
  • Environmental history and environmental humanities


  • Ph.D. in History, Harvard University, 2007.
  • Licenciatura (B.A.) in History, Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, 1997
  • Profesor (Education B.A.) in History, Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, 1993

Selected Publications

Selected Publications:

  • Challú, Amílcar E. “Ambigüedad y rebeldía en el tono económico de El Periquillo Sarniento.” Hispanic Journal 38, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 49–67.
  • With Sergio Silva-Castañeda (ITAM, Mexico), "Towards an anthropometric history of latin America in the second half of the twentieth century," in Economics and Human Biology 23 (2016) 226–234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2016.10.001
  • Challú, Amílcar E., and Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato. “Mexico’s Real Wages in the Age of the Great Divergence, 1730-1930.” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 33, no. 1 (2015): 83–122.
  • "Grain Markets, Free Trade and the Bourbon Reforms: The Reception and Application of the Real Pragmática of 1765 in New Spain." Accepted in Colonial Latin American Review 22, no. 3 (Dec. 2013): 400-421.
  • Ruth W. Herndon and Amílcar E. Challú, "Mapping the Boston Poor: Inmates of the Boston Almshouse, 1795-1801," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 44, number 1 (Summer 2013): 63-83.
  • Ricardo Salvatore, John Coatsworth and Amílcar Challú (eds.), Living Standards in Latin American History, ed. by Salvatore, Coatsworth and Challú (Harvard University Press, 2010)

Recent Grants:

  • Sustainability and the Humanities. Humanities Connections Planning Grant funded by the National Endowments for the Humanities. Co-director with Nathan Hensley (Environment and Sustainability) and Ian Young (Philosophy).
  • College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Innovation Grant to revamp the History Major (co-PI: Nicole Jackson).

Selected Presentations

  • Amy Robinson and Amílcar E. Challú, “Perspectivas Ecocríticas sobre Pedro Parámo.” Mexican Studies Conference, Irvine, California, May 2017
  • Amílcar E. Challú,”Health Inequality in Latin America Since 1950.” AHA Annual Congress, January 7 2017, Denver.
  • “El pícaro contador: Una lectura de El Periquillo Sarniento en clave económica.” Latin American Studies Association Annual Meeting, New York, May 2016
  • A. Challú and S. Silva-Castañeda, “Biological Wellbeing and the Lost Decade in Mexico,” Economics & Human Biology, Tübingen, October 2016
  • I. Bleynat, A. Challú and P. Segal, “Long-term inequality in Mexico,” King’s College International Development Conference, London, February 2015.
  • “La crisis humanitaria de los 1810: Seguridad alimentaria, desempeño económico e insurgencia,“ Coloquio Calleja y su época, UNAM, Mexico City, February 2015.
  • Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato and Amílcar E. Challú, “Salarios reales en México en la época de la gran divergencia, 1750s-1920s,” El Colegio de México, Mexico City, Seminario Interinstitucional de Historia Económica, 8 December 2014.
  • “Seguridad alimentaria en la Nueva España, 1740-1810,” El Colegio de México, Mexico City, Seminario Permanente de Historia e Instituciones Económicas, 25 November 2014.

Courses Taught

  • American Environmental History (HIST 3380)
  • Caribbean & Spanish Main (HIST 4130)
  • Colonial Latin America (HIST 3090)
  • Modern Latin America (HIST 3100)
  • Modern Mexico (HIST 4110/5110)
  • Historiography and Research Methods (HIST 3790/4790)
  • History of Capitalism (HIST 6800, HIST 4000/5820)