Sarah Osten is originally from the Boston area. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2010, where she also earned an MA in Latin American Studies in 2004. Her BA is from Brown University. Prior to coming to UVM in 2013 she was a visiting assistant professor of history at Northwestern University, where she was also a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in 2010-12.
Osten teaches on a wide variety of Latin American topics and countries, from the colonial era to the present. Her research focuses on modern Mexican political history. Her first book, The Mexican Revolution's Wake: The Making of a Political System, 1920-1929, is forthcoming (spring of 2018) with Cambridge University Press. It examines a cluster of groundbreaking political experiments conducted in the Southeast of Mexico in the 1920s, and shows that the Socialist parties of the region re-conceptualized the relationship between Mexican citizens and the state, and pioneered a new style of party-driven mass politics that served as a crucial precedent for the rise of the modern Mexican political system. She has also published research on post-revolutionary Mexican politics, women's suffrage, and the history of the Mexican Southeast. Her current and planned future research explores the ramifications of political violence in twentieth century Mexico. In Latin America more generally, she is particularly interested in campaigns and elections, political violence and peace processes, the formulation of citizenship and rights, and the relationships between governments and opposition movements.