Maximilian Viatori

Professor of Anthropology


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:3102e Pearson
505 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: Canada, Ecuador, neoliberalism, Peru, Political Ecology, race/class/ethnicity, social movements

Topics of interest: Anthropology of Latin America, Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology


Maximilian Viatori has conducted ethnographic and archival research on inequality, neoliberalism, and political ecology in Ecuador, Canada, and Peru since 2001. He is the author of One State, Many Nations: Indigenous Rights Struggles in Ecuador, which was published by the School for Advanced Research Press in 2010, and lead author of Coastal Lives: Nature, Capital, and the Struggle for Artisanal Fisheries in Peru, published by the University of Arizona Press in 2019. His forthcoming book The Unequal Ocean: Living with Environmental Change along the Peruvian Coast will be published by the University of Arizona Press in April 2023. Based on a decade of research in Peru, this book reveals how prevailing representations of the ocean obscure racialized disparities and the ways that different people experience the impacts of the climate crisis. The book also addresses expanding scholarly interest in the world’s oceans as sites for thinking about social inequities, environmental politics, and multispecies relationships.

Grants and Awards

  • 2022-2025: Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professorship, ISU

  • 2022: Publication Subvention Grant, ISU

  • 2019: Faculty Professional Development Assignment, ISU

  • 2018: Publication Subvention Grant, ISU

  • 2016-17: Cohort Member, Emerging Leaders Academy. Office of the Senior Vice
    President and Provost, ISU

Recent / Major Publications



  • 2020: (with Brandon Scheuring*) “Saving the Costa Verde's Waves: Surfing and Discourses of Race–Class in the Enactment of Lima's Coastal Infrastructure.” Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 25(1): 84-103. *Viatori is first author with 70 percent contribution.

  • 2019: “Uncertain Risks: Salmon Science, Harm, and Ignorance in Canada.” American Anthropologist 121(2): 325-337.

  • 2016: “Public Secrets, Muzzled Science: Agnotological Practice, State Performance, and Dying Salmon in British Columbia.” Political and Legal Anthropology Review 39(S1): 89-103.

  • 2016: “Rupture and the Maintenance of Indigenous Alterity: Crises, Borders, and Race in Ecuador, 1941–2008”. Ethnohistory 63(3): 497-518.

  • 2016: “Defending White-Mestizo Invisibility through the Production of Indigenous Alterity: (Un)Marking Race in Ecuador’s Mainstream Press.” Anthropological Quarterly 89(2): 483-512."