Freya Schiwy

Freya Schiwy is Professor of Media Cultural Studies ( and a cooperating faculty member in the Hispanic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside, where she has worked since 2004. Since she obtained a Ph.D. in Latin American literature and culture in 2002 (Duke University), her research and teaching has straddled the fields of Latin American cultural and film studies, and the interdisciplinary field of indigenous media studies. Since 2016 she has served as editor of the Journal for Latin American Cultural Studies: Travesía (JLACS).

Her first monograph (Indianizing Film. Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology. Rutgers UP, 2009) offers an analysis of collaborative community fiction and documentary videos in indigenous languages made in the Andean-Amazonian region. She argues that indigenous film and video offer innovative insights, articulated in audiovisual form, into how to think the decolonial. Her second monograph (The Open Invitation. Activist Video, Mexico, and the Politics of Affect. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019) focuses on how transnational activist videos in southern Mexico articulate a novel decolonial and prefigurative politics. Together with Byrt Wammack Weber, she edited the volume Adjusting the Lens. Community and Collaborative Video in Mexico (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), which addresses a range of video practices in indigenous languages in and beyond Mexico. She also co-edited Digital Media, Cultural Production, and Speculative Capitalism (Routledge, 2011) and (In)disciplinar las ciencias sociales (UASB, 2002).

Freya Schiwy’s current research explores how collaborative and indigenous video art and activism in Chile conceptualize and make apprehensible (visible, felt) the desire for environmental justice in and against the Capitalocene. This work confronts issues of dispossession, ruined lands, racism, the relation between the human and the non-human, and what it means to live well.

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