Matthew Vitz

Associate Professor

Matthew Vitz received his Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from New York University in 2010. His doctoral research on the modern environmental history of Mexico City was supported by a Fulbright scholarship and an ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Since completing his Ph.D., he has been Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD, and a fellow at the prestigious Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas (Institute of Historical Research) at the UNAM in Mexico City. Professor Vitz has published his research in the Hispanic American Historical Review as well as Estudios de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea de México and has a forthcoming article in Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos. His book manuscript reinterprets Mexico City’s rapid twentieth-century growth as a series of social conflicts and scientific disputes over the material environment in which a technocratic-industrial urban vision eventually prevailed over more environmentally just alternatives springing from the politics of the Mexican revolution. The book unites social and political history with the theoretical and conceptual tools of urban political ecology to understand how diverse peoples have experienced urbanization and how urban power is created and contested through environmental change.

Professor Vitz’s research spans the urban and environmental history of Mexico and Latin America, energy history, the ecological and social impacts of beachfront tourism in twentieth-century Mexico, and food history. He is particularly drawn to questions of environmental justice, the way power is anchored in the material environment, urban metabolisms, and the dialectical relationships between cities and their national and transnational hinterlands.

Mexican history

Latin American history

Environmental history

Urban history