Robert W. Patch
Professor of History
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1979

Areas of specialization: Latin American history with an emphasis on Mexico and Central America

(951) 827-1983


Rob Patch is originally from Ohio, and has also lived in Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Mexico City, Yucatan, Texas, Madrid and Seville. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and received the Ph.D. from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty at UCR in 1988, he taught at Princeton University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan. Patch specializes in the history of colonial Mexico and Central America, and has written about the economy, social structures, demography, geography, politics, and colonial institutions. His first book, Maya and Spaniard in Yucatán, 1648-1812, combines economic and social history. His second book, Maya Revolt and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century, is a study of social and political history. His third book, Indians and the Political Economy of Colonial Central America, 1670-1810, analyzes the indigenous economy, the economic integration carried out by corrupt government officials, and Spanish imperial reform. Patch is currently working on two books: Luzon in the Eighteenth Century and Hispanic Society and the Formation of a Colonial Elite in Mérida, 1700-1730. In addition, he has published articles in Past & Present, The Hispanic American Historical Review, The Historian, Mesoamérica, and several journals in Mexico. Patch has been a Fulbright Fellow in Spain and has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2015 he was awarded the Bolton Prize, for best English-language book on the history of Latin America, by the Conference on Latin American History, a branch of the American Historical Association.