Curtis Marez


Biography Information

I’m a product of California public education, first in the schools of the Central Valley and ultimately in the University of California. I’ve previously taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the University of Southern California. I’m the former editor of American Quarterly, the official journal of the American Studies Association (ASA); past-President of the ASA; and Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department (2012-2016). 


Ph.D., English, University of California, Berkeley

Research Interests

Visual culture (TV, film, new media) and difference; Chicana/o media and social movements; critical university studies; race in digital culture; farm workers in a global frame

Current Projects

I’m working on a hybrid print/digital book at the intersection of ethnic studies, film studies, and critical university studies called Hollywood Goes to College, an analysis of the relationship between Hollywood films and institutions on the one hand, and the administration of racial and other differences in the University of California system on the other. I’m also at work on a second book about TV and “forgotten” spaces of abjection, with a particular focus on Albuquerque, New Mexico and Modesto, California. 

Selected Publications


Farm Worker Futurism and Technologies of Resistance (University of Minnesota Press, Spring 2015).

 Drug Wars: The Political Economy of Narcotics (University of Minnesota Press, 2004)

Recent Essays

Ronald Reagan, the College Movie: Political Demonology, Academic Freedom, and the University of California,” Critical Ethnic Studies.

 “Cesar Chavez’s Video Collection” (a digital essay), American Literature 85.4 (December, 2013).

From Mr. Chips to Scarface, or Racial Capitalism in Breaking Bad,” Critical Inquiry, September 2013.

Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the History of Star Wars,” Race After the Internet, eds. Lisa Nakamura and Peter Chow-White (Routledge Press, 2011).