Lisa Covert

Associate Professor

Address: Maybank 214
Office Hours: M 2:00-3:00, T 1:30-3:00, & via scheduling link below.
Phone: 843.953.1420

Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Covert.

Lisa Covert earned her Ph.D. from Yale University. She specializes in Latin American history and is an affiliate of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Urban Studies, and the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World programs. Dr. Covert's book, San Miguel de Allende: Mexicans, Foreigners, and the Making of a World Heritage Site, examines how a once small, quiet Mexican town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of Mexico's largest foreign populations. The study explores the intersections of economic development strategies and national identity formation, revealing new insights into how towns and cities grappled with change in the twentieth century. Dr. Covert is currently working on two projects driven by the following questions: who gets to define cultural patrimony, who gets to benefit, and how does this help us understand changing power dynamics between international organizations, national governments, and local communities? The first project is a comparative study of cultural heritage policies in Mexico and Peru during the 1970s. This project seeks to examine how international and national policies that centralized control over pre-Columbian artifacts affected communities. The second project examines conflicting visions for rebuilding Cusco, Peru in the aftermath of the 1950 earthquake. 


Ph.D., Yale University, 2010

M.Phil., History, Yale University, 2006

M.A., History, Yale Univeristy, 2006

B.A., History, California State University, Long Beach, 2003

Research Interests

Latin American History, Mexican History, U.S.-Latin American relations, Cold War, Tourism, Urban History, Economic Development, Cultural Heritage, Disasters

Courses Taught

Latin America since Independence

History and Memory

Latin America's Dirty Wars

Mexican History

Latin American Cities in Historical Perspective

Real Pirates of the Caribbean

Global 1968

Cultural Encounters in the Americas

The Life and Afterlives of Che Guevara

Honors and Awards

Fulbright Global Scholar Research Award (Peru, France), 2019

College of Charleston Faculty Research Grant, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018

Leylan Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University, 2008-2009

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2007-2008

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Research Fellowship in Latin American History, 2006-2007

Myrna F. Bernath Dissertation Fellowship, Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2007


San Miguel de Allende: Mexicans, Foreigners, and the Making of a World Heritage Site, The Mexican Experience Series, University of Nebraska Press, 2017

Reframing Guanajuato’s Indigenous Past: Archaeological Field Notes and Development Priorities,” The Latin Americanist, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2021

“Post-Disaster Urban Planning, Cultural Patrimony, and Cusco’s Templo de Santiago,” Turismo y Patrimonio, Vol. 13, 2019, doi: 10.24265/turpatrim.2019.n13.06

“The GI Bill Abroad: A Postwar Experiment in Foreign Relations,” Diplomatic History, January 2015, doi: 10.1093/dh/dhu074

"The Political Economy of Mexico's Independence Heroes: Sellling Public History in San Miguel de Allende," The Latin Americanist, Vol. 54, No. 4, December 2010 

"Colonial Outpost to Artists' Mecca: Conflict and Collaboration in the Development of San Miguel de Allende's Tourist Industry" in Holiday in Mexico: Critical Reflections on Tourism and Tourist Encounters. Edited by Dina Berger and Andrew G. Wood, Duke University Press, 2010

Blog Contributions:

Tips for Transnational Research,” H-LatAm Research Corner, January 2021


The UNESCO Archive: A Brief Introduction to the Physical and Digital Repositories,” H-LatAm Research Corner, January 2021


Antiracism in Cuba and the Road Ahead,” Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program Blog, April 2018


The Life and Afterlives of Che Guevara,” Cuba en el Horizonte: Faculty Perspectives, June 2017


We Take Our Relationship with Mexico for Granted,” University of Nebraska Press Blog, February 2017


Thinking About Moving to Mexico to Escape the Political Climate? You Wouldn’t Be the First.” History News Network, December 2016


This Election Charts the History of U.S. Imperial Ambitions in Unsuspecting Ways,” History News Network, October 2008