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Heather Levi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor (Teaching)

Email: heather.levi@temple.edu
Office telephone: 215-204-1204


I am a cultural anthropologist. I received a BA in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts in 1990, and a PhD (also in anthropology) in 2001 from New York University.

The general focus of my research is on the relationship between performance practices, the global and local contexts from which they emerge, and the political uses to which they are directed. I have done ethnographic fieldwork on lucha libre (professional wrestling), and its place in urban popular culture in Mexico City. In addition to observing events and talking with individuals connected with the spectacle, I trained in lucha libre with a retired wrestler and his students. That fieldwork led me to view lucha libre as an arena in which to examine the connections between such analytical categories as mestizaje, class, gender, aesthetic values, mass mediation, and the state, It resulted in the publication of The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity (Duke University Press 2008). I am currently doing research on street musicians and other marginalized performers, focusing on the neighborhood of Condesa in Mexico City.


Selected publications:

The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity. Duke University Press, 2008

The Mask of the Luchador. In Steel Chair to the Head, edited by Nicolas Sammond. Duke University Press, 2005

Translation: The Hour of the Mask as Protagonist, by Carlos Monsivis. In Steel Chair to the Head, edited by Nicolas Sammond. Duke University Press, 2005

Practices and "Reflexivity" In New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Scribners and Sons, December 2004

Masked Media: The Adventures of Lucha Libre on the Small Screen. In Fragments of a Golden Age, The Politics of Culture in Mexico Since 1940. Gil Joseph, Anne Rubenstein and Eric Zolov, eds. Duke University Press, 2001

On Mexican Professional Wrestling: Sport as Melodrama. In Sport/Cult: The Global and Local Cultures of Sport. Randy Martin and Toby Miller, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 1999

Lean Mean Fighting Queens: Drag in the World of Mexican Professional Wrestling. Sexualities vol. 1. Sage Publications. August 1998: 275-285.

Department of Anthropology | Gladfelter Hall, second floor | 1115 West Berks Street | Philadelphia, PA 19122
Voice mail: 215-204-7577 Fax: 215-204-1410