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Pamela S.

Professor Emerita This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research and Teaching Interests: Social and political history of modern Spanish America , history of women in Latin America, modern Colombia (19th-20th centuries)


  • B.A., New Mexico State University, 1981, History and French
  • M.A., Tulane University, 1984, History
  • Ph.D., Tulane University, 1990, History

Born in Seattle, Washington, Pam Murray spent much of her youth living with her family abroad (Panama, later France & Germany) and in several parts of the US (northern Virginia, New Mexico), experiences that sparked her interest in history as well as languages and culture. Exposure to New Mexico’s rich Hispanic heritage, along with curiosity about her maternal background—including relatives in Medellin, Colombia—encouraged her to specialize in Latin American history.

In 2012, Dr. Murray and Professor Carlos Orihuela (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures) lead a study away trip to Lima, Peru. Students were treated to a crash course in the language, culture, and history of one of the most fascinating countries in the Western hemisphere. Over three weeks students adapted to life with their Peruvian host families; learned new customs and the intricacies of navigating through Lima; improved their Spanish in daily lessons taught by instructors of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (the oldest university in the Americas); and visited numerous historic, archaeological, and cultural sites and events—including the winding catacombs of Lima's famous Franciscan Monastery; the eye-opening Museum of the Inquisition; the delights of traditional Peruvian folk music and dance, e.g. "La Marinera"; a trip to Cuzco, ancient capital of the Incas, nestled high in the southern Andes at about 11,000 feet above sea level; the Sacred Valley; and the magical "Lost City" of Machu Picchu. Taken by Professor Murray, the photos in this slideshow give viewers a glimpse of the variety of places students visited and the odyssey they experienced. Visit flickr to see all of the photos.

  • Recent Courses
    • "Sex & Society in Latin America
    • Introduction to Latin American History
    • Modern Latin America
    • Modern Mexico
    • Nations of the Andes
    • Graduate Seminar in Modern Latin America
  • Select Publications


    • Manuelita: Por la Gloria, Por Bolivar (Bogotá: Penguin-Random House Grupo Editorial, 2020).
    • Women and Gender in Modern Latin America: Historical Sources and Interpretations. New York: Routledge, 2014.
    • Sueños de Desarrollo: La Escuela Nacional de Minas de Colombia y sus Ingenieros, 1887-1970. Translated by Nestor Castro Quintero. Medellín: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Medellín, Colección Facultad de Minas-125 años, 2012.
    • For Glory and Bolívar: The Remarkable Life of Manuela Sáenz, 1797-1856. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2008.
    • Dreams of Development: Colombia's National School of Mines and its Engineers, 1887-1970. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1997.

    Recent Articles

    Talks and Conference Papers

    • “Manuela Saenz & Simon Bolivar: First Meeting, Final Parting” for 135th Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New Orleans, Jan. 7, 2022.
    • Interview for BBC World News (“The Forum”) on Manuela Saenz & Spanish American Independence.
    • “Mujeres y Política como Estratégia de Familia: El rol de Amalia Mosquera de Herrán en la Revolución Liberal-Mosquerista (o Guerra Federal), 1860-63” for XIX Congreso Colombiano de Historia, Armenia (Colombia), Oct 4, 2019.
    • “Manuela Sáenz y la Gran Colombia,” invited talk for Congreso Internacional ‘El Peru en Tiempos de la Gran Colombia,’ Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (Lima), Sept. 12, 2019.
  • Academic Distinctions & Professional Memberships
    • University of Alabama Press Faculty Editorial Board, 2008-present
    • College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research Award, 2012
    • UAB-NSF ADVANCE Senior Faculty Research Awards, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship
    • UAB Graduate School Faculty Research Grants, 1998 and 1999
    • UAB Faculty Development Program Grant, 1998
    • the American Historical Association
    • the Conference on Latin American History
    • the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS), president-elect (1999-2000) and president (2000-2001)
    • the Latin American and Caribbean Studies affiliate of the Southern Historical Association