1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Hector Amaya


203 Wilson Hall

Office Hours:

On leave for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Class Schedule:



Professor Hector Amaya is currently on leave. This year he is a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton, NJ in the School of Social Science. He is the past Chair of the Department of Media Studies. Previously, he taught in the Communication Studies Department at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. At Virginia, he is part of the Media Studies Department and he is affiliated with the Latin American Studies program and the American Studies program.

He was born and raised in Mexico and began his education at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (Mexico City, Mexico). After completing a Masters in Communication Studies at the University of Calgary (Canada), Mr. Amaya continued on with a Ph.D. in Radio, Television and Film at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mr. Amaya’s research, writing, and teaching engage with the areas of global media, Latin American film, comparative media studies, and Latinas/os media studies. His first book, Screening Cuba: Film Criticism as Political Performance During the Cold War (Sept. 2010, University of Illinois Press), is a comparative study of film reception of Cuban film, cultural criticism, and citizenship in Cuba and the USA from the 1960s to 1985.

His second book, Citizenship Excess: Latinas/os, Media and the Nation, was published in 2013 with NYU Press. Citizenship Excess proposes a new way of theorizing U.S. citizenship that can better accommodate the lived political and media realities of Latinas/os. In this project, Mr. Amaya takes a multidisciplinary approach to citizenship that links contemporary nativism in politics and in media to a nation-centric way of imagining society. He examines contemporary cases such as the 2006 pro-immigration reform marches, news coverage of undocumented immigrant detention centers, participation of Latinas/os in the Iraqi war, nativism in mainstream media, popular shows like Ugly Betty, and issues of rights regarding Spanish language media.

His work has appeared in places like Television & New Media, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, New Cinemas, Critical Discourse Studies, Latino Studies, and Text & Performance Quarterly.

Mr. Amaya is currently writing a third book titled Trafficking: Mexico’s Violence, Mobilities, and Media Technologies. This book wrestles with the way Mexican drug violence has shaped the national and transnational public sphere and culture.

Mr. Amaya’s professional commitments include involvement with the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). In NCA, he is the Past-Chair of the Latino Communication Studies Division and Past-Chair of the La Raza Caucus. In SCMS, he is the past chair of the Latino Caucus. He serves on a variety of editorial boards.

For more, visit Prof. Amaya's website: http://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/amaya/


Citizenship Excess

NYU Press, May 2013

Screening Cuba

University of Illinois Press, Sep 2010