Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Romance Languages

First Advisor

Jorge Tellez

Abstract

This project deals with the politics of image and the organization of the visible through the colonial gaze. It intervenes in the discussions of representation and power distribution that have already been central themes in Colonial Studies, but it does so from the perspective of a close relationship between image and text that changed Western schemes of visibility, and thus the way to gain authorization within them. This approach allowed me to explore lesser-known authors such as Maria Estrada Medinilla or Mariana Navarro, as well as to reexamine canonical authors such as Bernardo de Balbuena, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. In doing so, my investigation departs from a characterization of the lettered gaze in Colonial Mexico and successively addresses the concepts of World, the City, and the Book Page. Such work is rooted in my background in Art History and my previous interest in visual arts. I contend that theorizing the regimes of visibility along these dimensions not only contributes to Colonial Studies but also considers the problematic perpetuity of certain modes of visibility in other countries of Latin America and in the US. In order to dismantle the dominant organization of the visual with respect to its Eurocentric roots, my research also incorporates further debates on geopolitics, gender, and indigenism, all of which are crucial to understand the construction of the gaze, and hence, the formation of a subject in Colonial Mexico

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