James Wiltgen received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in Latin American History from UCLA. Combining contemporary theory and historical analysis, he teaches courses on modernity and capitalism, megacities, Latin-American film and video, music of the Americas, and border politics. Currently, his research interests include cultural production in Mexico City, the politics of Porto Alegre, and theoretical approaches to the developing world, with particular emphasis on subjectivities, technology, and biopower.
He is a founding member and co-editor of the innovative journals Strategies: A Journal of Theory, Culture and Politics, and Emergences: Journal for the Study of Composite Cultures. In addition, he has also done the primary research for a number of documentary film projects, including ones on global cities and Los Angeles. Besides editing a special issue on Los Angeles for Emergences, his work has appeared in a number of journals, including Objeto Visual (Venezuela) and Strategies. He is currently completing a book on hegemony and Brazilian television, as well as co-editing a book on the image and performativity in Los Angeles.