Cris Culton

With background in European history, especially radical intellectual thought and the Spanish Civil War, I am now working on modern Mexico. While I previously studied radical right wing support for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), I am now interested in depictions and considerations of the Mesoamerican Indigenous god, Quetzalcoatl. I look at anthropological studies, travel literature, novels, art, and folklore during the early twentieth century that focus on Quetzalcoatl in order to trace what a variety of people thought about their existence and their world. There is no doubt that Quetzalcoatl has fascinated the minds of countless people, and so I view my job as identifying the why. What does this specific fascination tell us about broader inquiries into the nature of imperialism, capitalism, and the desire to seek change in the world? What is clear is that during times of crisis people tend to seek a romanticized notion of the “other” as their means of coping with their now. I am very open to discussions with anyone who share these or parallel interests.

On a personal note: 

I am originally from Los Angeles, where I went to high school in Venice, California. I went to West Los Angeles Community College and then studied Spanish at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in Spain, eventually graduating in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Just before coming to Duke I taught as a long-term substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. I enjoy being outdoors and indoors. When outdoors and in Los Angeles, you will likely find me on the beach in Venice. When indoors you will likely find me nerding out on music, speakers, and sound waves.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

Some information on this profile has been compiled automatically from Duke databases and external sources. (Our About page explains how this works.) If you see a problem with the information, please write to Scholars@Duke and let us know. We will reply promptly.