Tania Islas Weinstein is a PhD candidate in the department with a focus on comparative politics and political theory, and a regional specialization in Latin America. Her research interests include democratic theory, aesthetics, nationalism, and visual arts.
Tania’s dissertation, Politics in a House of Mirrors: Art and Representation in Contemporary Mexico, argues that the political role of artists and cultural institutions in Mexico has changed profoundly in the wake of Mexico’s transition to electoral democracy and attendant adoption of market-oriented reforms starting in the 1980s. Based on two years of multi-sited ethnography and archival research, the project examines the effects of these political and socio-economic transformations on the institutional spaces, policy decisions, and patronage networks that structure Mexico’s artistic field and shape the production of art itself. Politics in a House of Mirrors shows how Mexico’s transition has had a profound effect not only on formal political institutions such as party politics, but on the country’s national imaginaries, creating new spaces and forms of civic participation centered on artistic production. In turn, these changes have directly affected Mexico’s public conversations and national patrimony, as well as the kinds of politics deemed possible in a post-autocratic context.
Tania’s research has been supported by a number of grants and fellowships including a Residential Fellowship at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego, a Harper/Visiting Committee Write-Up Award from the University of Chicago, and a Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship for Doctoral Studies.
Tania has taught several courses of her own design, including “Art, Aesthetics, and Politics” and “Democratic Representation.” She is currently a preceptor in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) at the University of Chicago.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Tania earned her BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).