V. Gina Diaz

University of Mexico

V. Gina Diaz is A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she focuses on contemporary art, visual culture, and cultural politics at the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender. She became curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s art museum after earning her M.A. in Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has bee presented in numerous academic and museum venues and she has taught at the Universities of California and New Mexico.

Dissertation Title: Toward Queer Feminist Decoloniality: Contesting Visuality in Latinx Art

Dissertation Abstract: In her dissertation, Gina develops a framework that illuminates how queer and feminist artists engage discourses of respectability to disrupt histories of commoditization and imposed notions of bodily deviance. Latinx art activism, especially feminist art by lesbian, trans, and queer artists is the focus of the project. The works studied range in genre and content, but Gina is most interested in artists’ desires for social justice, including but also beyond concerns of the body. Methodologically, the project stems from anti-racist approaches to liberation. Largely informed by the work of radical indigenous and women of color feminist activists, writers, and artists, the dissertation aims to consider their interventions – and those of the art movements they were part of and/or helped to inspire – on Latinx cultural politics. Gina draws on insights from scholarship in critical ethnic studies, visual culture studies, performance studies, feminist and sexuality studies, and minoritized art histories. The research for the project is approached through mixed-methods that combine discourse and semiotic analysis with artists’ accounts of their work.