PhD Students


Todd M. Meyers

PhD Program

Educational Background

M.A., 2005, Colorado State University
Ph.D. candidate, SMU


Dissertation Title

"Red or Green?: An Environmental History of the Chile Pepper in Southern New Mexico, 1900-2000"

Dissertation Advisor:  Prof. Benjamin Johnson
Todd’s dissertation offers a view of southern New Mexico’s chile pepper industry in the twentieth century from an environmental perspective.  Chile peppers have long been identified with New Mexican identity and have been an important agricultural industry, but their history has not been told from the perspective of the chiles themselves.  However, the very nature of chile peppers and the environmental conditions of southern New Mexico have deeply influenced the ways in which chiles have been grown, processed, picked, and consumed.  At the same time, human ideas about what an ideal chile pepper is, how “hot” it should be, as well as how and where it should be grown has sometimes drastically altered the nature of the chile.  The nature of chile peppers, in other words, is intimately connected with human culture, especially in the chile fields of southern New Mexico.  

Fields of Study

U.S. Environmental History
American Food History
U.S.-Mexico Borderlands History
Twentieth-century American History

Professional Experience

Instructor, SMU, summer 2009
Teaching Assistant/Instructor, SMU, fall 2008
Graduate Teaching Assistant, History Dept., Colorado State University, 2004-05


“A ‘Fantasy Heritage?’: A Review of the Changing Literature on Hispano Identity in New Mexico,” accepted and pending publication with the Journal of the Southwest.


Awards and Grants

Research Travel Grant, Clements Center for Southwest Studies, SMU, 2009
Graduate Award, History Dept., Colorado State University, 2005