Since 2006, Benjamin Smith has been working as a scholar of modern Mexican history. As a historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century grassroots politics, he has done most of his research in the archives, villages, churches, and markets of the predominantly indigenous state of Oaxaca.
His second area of research has been religion and popular conservatism. While researching Pistoleros and Popular Movements, he became increasingly interested in the relationship between local religious cultures and grassroots politics.
Beyond these broad research interests, he has also published a variety of articles on indigenous and grassroots responses to indigenismo, indigenous militarism, the PAN, taxation, state healthcare, and the drug trade.