Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Vicki Mayer

Professor - Communication, Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives and Curriculum

Contact Info

Department Affiliation


I am driven to understand how and why people work with media and through media and communications industries. This research agenda ranges from questioning the micro-dynamics of media production—who are media producers, how do culture, identity, and community influence their work—to the political economies of communications industries and infrastructures support or deter media production. All of this research has been place-based, generally using ethnographic or human-subjects’ insights in addition to other archival, quantitative, or textual analyses. While I do not consider myself a Brazilianist or a regional specialist, I find that case studies in Latin America or Latino America provide important counter-examples to the normative assumptions found in dominant communication and media discourses and theories.

I began doing fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 1990s with grassroots video producers working to achieve social goals through media production. From there, I became a participant in Mexican-American community media in San Antonio, Texas, using many of the techniques and methods used in Brazilian communities. My action research agenda was to continually improve the community media project while, at the same time, I was studying Mexican Americans as media producers and consumers. That work became a dissertation on how different generations of Mexican Americans used media to express differing notions of cultural citizenship.

That work also led to a research subdiscipline in media studies known as ‘production studies.’ That subdiscipline focuses on the cultural aspects of different job roles and work in media industries, how the structures of work produces the normative labor force in terms of race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, and class. My first and second books theorize identity and media labor grounded in my fieldwork in San Antonio, Texas; Davis, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Manaus, Amazonia.

In the newest chapter of this trajectory to understand media production and communications industries, I have working on new field projects to illuminate the ways that the largest media and communications industries in the world use public monies to control and manage labor and production cultures. Although this work has not advanced in Latin America yet, I hope to do fieldwork there again soon.

  • B.A., Brown University, Independent Major, 1993
  • M.A., University of California-San Diego, Communication, 1997
  • Ph.D., University of California-San Diego, Communication, 2000
Academic Experience
  • Louise K. Riggio Chair of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Tulane University, Taylor Center for Design-Thinking, 2014-
  • Professor, Tulane University 2012-
  • Associate Professor, Tulane University 2007-2012
  • Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 2003-2007
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California-Davis, 2001-2003
  • Assistant Professor, University of Texas-San Antonio, 2000-2001
  • Associate Instructor, University of California-San Diego, 2000

Research & Teaching Specializations: Community media in Brazil; media political economy and communications infrastructure in US and Latin America; Latino media production and media audiences

Related Experience
  • Co-Creator, ViaNolaVie: Talking Life and Culture in New Orleans, 2016-
  • Editorial Board Member, Women’s Studies in Communication, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Intercom-Revista Brasileira de Ciências da Comunicação, Journal of Latin American Communication Research, Journal of Communication
  • President, Feminist Studies Division, International Communication Association
  • Editor, Television & New Media (
  • Director, MediaNOLA (
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Communication
  • The Community Action Council of Tulane University Students’ Community Enrichment Award, Tulane University, 2016
  • Barbara E. Moely Award for Service Learning, 2012
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Start-Up Grant, 2010
  • Top Paper Award, International Communication Association, Philosophy of Communication Division, 2009
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
Overseas Experience
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
Selected Publications
  • 2017. Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans: The Lure of the Local Film Economy. Berkeley: University of California Press and Luminos Open Access Project.
  • 2017. “For Themselves and for their Communities: Alternative Mediations of Digital Natives,” Media and Class: Film, TV and Digital Culture, edited by June Deery and Andrea Press, pp. 189-199. New York: Routledge.
  • 2016. “The Places Where Production and Audience Studies Meet.” Television and New Media 17 (8): 706-718.
  • 2015. “Introduction and Translation: Civic Media Meet Community Media.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 32.3: 143-157.
  • 2012. Below the Line: Producers and Production Studies in the New Television Economy. Duke University Press.
  • 2009. (Editor) Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries. With Miranda J. Banks and John T. Caldwell. Routledge.
  • 2007. “Digital Television in Brazil: The View from Manaus.” Liinc em Revista. 3 (2): 81-90.
  • 2003. Producing Dreams, Consuming Youth: Mexican Americans and Mass Media. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: COMM 3140: Cross-Cultural Commnication, COMM 2230: Intercultural Communication

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 6

Full CV or Website
Curriculum Vitae