Eric Vázquez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Director of Graduate Studies

Eric Vázquez is an assistant professor in American Studies and Latino Studies at University of Iowa. His scholarship emphasizes the cultural, political, military, and economic bonds that link populations and institutions in the United States to Central America.

His current book project, States of Defeat: US Imaginaries of Central American Revolution, explores how thwarted ambitions for revolution in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala give rise to ambivalent, outraged, cynical, and mournful affects for novelists, intellectuals, immigrants, and military technocrats living in the US. Out of these experiences of defeat and disappointment American intellectuals retreat into questions about the viability and legitimacy of state power. Vázquez argues that by deploying a mode of analysis that is speculative about the future and discouraged by the past, at once, these texts prefigure later war-on-terror era anxieties about state failure, the rise of non-governmental organizational forms, and raison d'etat secrecy and securitization.

In his research, Eric Vázquez has enjoyed the support of the Ford Foundation with a 2013-2014 Dissertation Writing Fellowship.

Research Interests: 
  • Transnational American studies
  • Latino/a/x studies
  • Central American studies
  • Critical theory
  • War and culture
  • Capital, financialization, and crisis
  • Migration
  • Film and media studies
  • Contemporary American literature


"Counterinsurgency’s Ambivalent Enterprise" in Theory and Event, January 2020, Volume 23, Number 1 pp. 120-144

"Interrogative Justice in Héctor Tobar's The Tattooed Soldier" in Modern Fiction Studies, Spring 2018, Volume 64, Number 1 pp. 129-152

"The Technical Fix: Bitcoin in El Salvador" in South Atlantic Quarterly, 2022, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp. 600-611

Eric Vázquez
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2015 (Literary and Cultural Studies)
Contact Information

714 Jefferson Building (JB)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States