About Dr Vek Lewis

Dr Vek Lewis’s research interests include: cultural and moral spatialities, human movement, geopolitics and the work of institutions in regulating peoples’ lives in Latin America and Latino/a USA, especially around migration, border studies, sexual and ethnic minorities. Both ethnography and discourse analysis form the basis of his research methodologies around these questions.

The chair of the department of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Dr Vek Lewis has conducted research on on representations of sexual minorities, marginalised groups and urban life in contemporary Latin American cultural production. He is mainly a scholar located in Mexican Studies, although he has interests related to Cuba, the Caribbean, Chile and Latinos in the USA. He is a key participant in a study related to cultural identities and Chilean migration in Sydney that is currently being undertaken. Feature research will focus on the element of the making and remaking of sexuality in the migration experience among Latin American origin people in the LGBT community here in Sydney. Via individual interviews and select focus groups, data will be gathered and subject to narrative analysis, informed by contemporary work on ‘sexual’ migrations and Latino/as. Dr Lewis is currently supervising Honours and PhD research projects on comparative social movements in Mexico and Egypt, comparative land rights in Australia and Chile, media, public insecurity and the management of risk in Mexico, as well as a study on sexuality, gender and subjectivity among trans and gay individuals in Mexico City (with Anthropology). He has interests in Latin American popular cultural forms, media, youth subcultures and resistance movements.

Selected publications


  • Transfigurations: Visions of Sex/Gender Variance in Contemporary Latin American Culture (forthcoming with Palgrave)
  • ‘Forging “Moral Geographies”: State-wide Tensions in the Spatial Politics of Border Towns and the Role of the Media and Law in Creating Borders of a New Order’ in Trans/Gender Migrations: Bodies, Borders, and the (Geo)politics of Gender Transitions, ed. Trystan Cotten (forthcoming)
  • ‘When “Macho” Bodies Fail: Spectacles of Corporeality and the Homosocial/sexual in Mexican Cinema’. Mysterious Skin: Male Bodies in Contemporary Cinema, ed. Santiago Fouz-Hernández, I.B. Tauris, 2009.
  • ‘Grotesque Spectacles: The Janus Face of the State and Gender-variant Bodies in the work of Reinaldo Arenas’. Chasqui: revista de literatura latinoamericana May 2009.
  • ‘Performing Translatinidad: “Miriam” the Mexican Transsexual Reality Show Star and the Tropicalization of Difference in Anglo-Australian Media’ in Intimate Visions: Sexuality, Representation and Visual Culture, Spec. Issue of Sexualities (U.K.) 12.2 (2009), 225-50.
  • ‘Of Lady Killers and “Men Dressed as Women”: Soap Operas, Scapegoats and the Mexico City Police Department’ in PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, 5.1.http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/portal/article/view/480  2008
  • ‘Sociological Work on Transgender in Latin America: Some Considerations’ in Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (JILAS) 12.2 (2006), 71-90.
  • ‘La noche delincuente: la representación del prostituto en El vampiro de la colonia Roma, Las púberes canéforas, y La Virgen de los Sicarios’ in JILAS: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies 9:1 (2003), 73-94.