History ETDs

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This dissertation examines how the Mexico City Metro was promoted as something that was technically advanced. In this narrative Mexico City became more like the great cities of Europe by building a Metro. The Metro was also promoted as Mexican. In this narrative each stage of Mexican civilization had its great projects. The Aztec built the Templo mayor. The Spanish built the Cathedral; The Metro was the project of the modern era. This dissertation utilized a methodology that was previously used to examine monuments in Mexico. My approach was novel because I applied this system of analysis to the Metro. The Metro is not like a standard monument. Although it used symbols to create narrative through naming and the creation of the Metro map, it is more dynamic. People ride the Metro. The Metro transforms the city through its construction and naming of stations. While this dissertation examines the pro-genetive period of Metro construction, from 1967 until 1970, the Metro continues to transform Mexcio City today. Like other monuments the Metro used symbols, in this case station names, to paint a picture. The Metro used the names of monuments and streets in Mexico City to make the Metro map. The map included names already in the city above. It also named stations after locations from the Aztec past that were long gone. The station names come from diverse epochs of Mexican history. Together they reshape the civic geography of the city and meld it with a modern Metro system. Behind the scenes there were narratives not covered in the official promotion of the Metro. I uncover the history of the Metro station names, the political fight within the ruling party over the Metro and the international economic networks that made the Metro possible. I also examine the story of famous Mexican artist Rina Lazo. She participated in the planning of Insurgentes Metro but was never given credit.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


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First Committee Member (Chair)

Truett, Sam

Second Committee Member

Cahill, Cathleen

Third Committee Member

Craib, Raymond



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