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Diego Ray Dannemiller Batres



I was born on April 9th 1993 to an American father and a Mexican mother. I attended a trilingual elementary and middle school in which I took classes in English and French (besides Spanish). Afterwards I went to a public high school attached to the UNAM (Mexico's National Autonomous University). This is probably where I started to feel interested in social science and history (in spite of constantly feeling a somewhat intense sense of overall existential despair).

I studied History in the UNAM afterwards. The first and last year were excellent since I was able to focus on subjects that attracted and interested me; notoriously anything related to contemporary history, revolutionary process and non-state oriented politics. While I studied I worked as a waiter in a bar four to five days a week during the night shift.

After finishing my courses I took a trip to Canada (Okanagan Valley) and the United States (Denver, Colorado) where I mainly did restaurant and agricultural work. When I came back to Mexico City I started working for a magazine dedicated to research journalism. I stayed there for a year while struggling to work on my undergraduate thesis. Close to a year ago I finished working for them and started doing independent research for a book on Mexico's 1968 student movement.

A couple months later, this previous experience and knowledge on the subject allowed me to join a major project ran by the UNAM and also dedicated to the student movement named "M68 Ciudadanías en movimiento" (Moving Citizenships, literally). Regardless of the fact that this job was incredible in many aspects and quite disappointing in several others, it allowed me to further deepen and limit my areas of historical interest: counterinsurgency, revolutionary warfare, military history, state violence and its socio-political reactions. It also allowed my colleagues and I to perfect our archive work/skills, identify key direct sources for our areas of interest and point to precise gaps in historiographical production (in my case, the fact that there are hardly no analysis on how counterinsurgency as a whole was 'exported' to Mexico).

After finding out I got accepted in the Global History masters program I quit my job, finished my thesis and put most of my stuff away. I ended up writing a thesis on Historiography of the Communist League September the 23rd (a clandestine political organization from the 1970's, involved in Mexico's 'Dirty War'). I haven't seen much of Berlin up to now, but I'm in perpetual awe with the city due to the fact that I constantly bear in mind that it was almost completely reduced to rubble merely 70 years ago.

PS. I used to play drums in a band all throughout high school and college. We recorded two albums. We were called Uomo Caslingo (an accidental misspelling of 'uomo casalingo': man dedicated to house-chores).

Global histories