Ana Villarreal

Dr. Ana Villarreal

Dr. Ana Villarreal

Assistant Professor

PhD, University of California, Berkeley (2016)

Curriculum Vitae

Bio and Research

Ana Villarreal is an urban ethnographer interested in violence and urban wealth, fear and solidarity, as well as the origins of increased violence in Latin American cities.

Her book manuscript The Armored City: Violence and Seclusion in the Mexican Metropolis is an ethnography of how the upper class in Monterrey, one of the wealthiest cities in Latin America, reorganized all aspects of everyday life within the municipality of San Pedro at the height of a wave of gruesome violence linked to the Mexican “war on drugs.” While research on urban wealth, fear and security tends to focus on how privately secured gated communities can fragment a metropolis, contemporary San Pedro demonstrates how increased violence can also prompt a simultaneous concentration of urban wealth and public security within one city to the detriment of a larger metropolitan area. More broadly, this book examines widespread violence not only as an outcome of inequality but as a powerful factor contributing to the reproduction and aggravation of existing inequalities.

Her work has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Association of University Women, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States, the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology, the BU Initiative on Cities, the BU Pardee School for Global Studies, and the BU Center for the Humanities.

She teaches social theory, urban inequality, and social problems with an emphasis on global cocaine, crack cocaine and the divergent trajectories of violent crime in American versus Latin American cities.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Villarreal, Ana. Forthcoming. “Reconceptualizing Urban Violence from the Global South.” City & Community.

Villarreal, Ana. 2010. “The Bus Owner, The Bus Driver and His Lover: Gendered

Class Struggle in The Service Work Triangle.” Work and Occupations 37.3: 272-294.

Book Chapters

Villarreal, Ana. 2016. “La transparencia de la víspera: participación social frente a la violencia en Monterrey” in Seguridad Pública y los límites y alcances de la participación social en la Frontera Norte, edited by Socorro Arzaluz and Arturo Zárate. México: Colegio de la Frontera Norte.

Villarreal, Ana. 2015. “Fear and Spectacular Drug Violence in Monterrey” in Violence at the Urban Margins, edited by Javier Auyero, Phillipe Bourgois, and Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Oxford University Press.

Villarreal, Ana and Delphine Mercier. 2010. “¿Hacia un sistema integrado de transporte urbano en el Área Metropolitana de Monterrey?” In Cuando México Enfrenta la Globalización. Permanencias y cambios en el Area Metropolitana de Monterrey, edited by Lilia Palacios et al. Monterrey: UANL, Colef, ITESM, UDEM, CEMCA.


Villarreal, Ana. 2017. “Violencia, contrabando y propuestas para la paz en el Noreste” In Violencia y paz: diagnósticos y propuestas para México, edited by Froylán Enciso. México: El Colegio de México, CNDH, Instituto Belisario Domínguez, Senado de la República.

Villarreal, Ana. 2016. “Hacerle frente a la violencia” In La presencia de la ausencia: historias de personas desaparecidas y reflexiones en torno a la desaparición en México. Edited by Fuerzas Unidas por Nuestros Desaparecidos en Nuevo León. Monterrey: Cerro de la Silla Editores.

Villarreal, Ana. 2013. “Kidnappable: On the Normalization of Violence in Urban Mexico.” Global Dialogue 3.3.