Diana Montaño, assistant professor of history, has won the 2022 Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) Article Prize for Emerging Scholars for her article “Ladrones de Luz: Policing Electricity in Mexico City, 1901–1918,” which appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review.
"Based on an impeccable methodology, Diana Montaño uses trials and police and legal archives to tell the story of daily life and power relations in a city that is consciously modernizing," the prize committee wrote. "Diana Montaño introduces us not only to a forgotten piece of Mexico City's history but also to rich documentary sources that bring out a whole panoply of voices, from large investors protected by the government to citizens with no other pretensions than to participate in the progress promised by the regime and brought within reach by technological innovation. The article is a fine example of expertly researched and carefully explained historical analysis."
Findings from this article were included in Montaño’s 2021 book Electrifying Mexico: Technology and the Transformation of a Modern City. In that book, Montaño explores the making of electrified spaces and how people led that electrification and then navigated those emerging spaces. She writes about the experience of electricity through lighting, public celebrations, streetcar accidents, power theft, electrical appliances, and the nationalization of the electrical industry. Electrifying Mexico was honored with the Alfred B. Thomas Award by the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies.