Matthew Restall (born 1964) is a historian of Colonial Latin America. He is an ethnohistorian and a scholar of conquest, colonization, and the African diaspora in the Americas. He is currently Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History and Anthropology, and Director of Latin American Studies, at the Pennsylvania State University. He is President of the American Society for Ethnohistory, a former editor of Ethnohistory journal, a senior editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review, editor of the book series Latin American Originals, and co-editor of the Cambridge Latin American Studies book series.
Restall was born in a suburb of London, England, in 1964. He grew up in Spain, Venezuela, and East Asia, but was schooled in England, primarily at Wellington College, before going on to receive a BA degree in Modern History from Oxford University in 1986. He earned a PhD in Latin American History from UCLA in 1992, studying under James Lockhart, and has since held teaching positions at various universities in the United States. Since 1995, Restall has published over twenty books and sixty articles & essays. His best-known book is Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest (2003), which has also been published in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Polish. His other books include The Maya World: Yucatec Culture and Society, 1550-1850 (1997), Maya Conquistador (1998), Invading Guatemala (with Florine Asselbergs, 2007), 2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse (with Amara Solari, 2011), Latin America in Colonial Times (with Kris Lane, 2011), and The Conquistadors (with Felipe Fernández-Armesto, 2012). His book The Black Middle: Africans, Mayas, and Spaniards in Colonial Yucatan won the Conference on Latin American History's 2009 prize for best book on Mexican history. His newest book, When Montezuma met Cortés was published by HarperCollins in January 2018. He is currently writing a book on early Belize. 
He is a member of the New Philology school of colonial Mexican history, and a founder of a related school, the New Conquest History. He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the John Carter Brown Library, the Library of Congress, and the Capitol Historical Society. 
Restall's sister is Emma Restall Orr, the neo-Druid author. His father is the ornithologist and bird artist, Robin Restall. He is married to the art historian, Amara Solari. He also has four daughters.
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