Viviane Mahieux

Institutional Affiliation 
Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, UC Irvine
Professional Bio 

Viviane Mahieux has a BA from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. She is currently Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Irvine. She teaches and writes on contemporary Latin American literature, with a focus on Mexico. She has written Urban Chroniclers in Modern Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2011), and published in various academic and cultural journals, including Letras Libres and Nexos in Mexico. Her past research has spanned the Latin American and European avant-gardes, the city and urban theory, the genre of the chronicle in the 19th and 20th centuries, journalism and media theory. She is currently beginning to work on the ecological imagination in Latin America, with a particular interest in studying the tensions between local histories and the ways culture and nature are constructed as international touristic commodities. Viviane grew up in Baja California Sur, Mexico, a state that has undergone massive changes due to large scale touristic developments in the past 30 years.

Area of Expertise 

I work in literature and cultural studies, and have done a lot of research on modern and contemporary Mexico. In the past, I have worked mostly on urban literature and theory, with an emphasis on literary journalism (the genre of the crónica). While ecocriticism is a relatively new field for me, I have taught a lecture course at UCI in Spring 2015 entitled "Latin American Ecologies", that was very well received. Next year, with colleagues from Latin American Studies, I am organizing a series of events on Latin American Ecologies and Sustainability, with a focus on water issues throughout the Americas. I have always been concerned with accessibility: both as a personal objective in my own writing, and as a theoretical concept that I have applied critically in my study on Latin American literary journalism (or crónica). That is why I am so interested in the opportunity of participating in this Op-ed project. After studying for many years how writers and journalists intervene in public opinion and exert long term changes on the cultural imaginaries of their cities and countries, I wish to improve my own chances of participating in conversations that go beyond narrow academic communities.

Workshop Locations