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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

National mythology, private histories, and public debates: A critical reading of Alma Lopez's “1848: Chicanos in the U.S. Landscape After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo”
by Longacre, Ryan D., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 96; 1486499
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis is a visual analysis of Alma Lopez’s 1848, an early project that is noticeably absent from the body of scholarship addressing her pioneering imagery. Drawing inspiration from Lopez’s use of affiliation and juxtaposition, I pursue a critique in which salient visual elements from all five compositions are grouped into three broad thematic categories: place, identity, and power.

In this study, 1848 is positioned as a sharply-perceptive critique of nineteenth-century American history in which the U.S. landscape is depicted as an amalgamation of different locales and historical circumstances rarely considered side-by-side. It is argued that nineteenth-century efforts to establish social, cultural, and political lines of divide ideologically parallel twentieth-century efforts to control immigration and define citizenship. And while historical, cultural, and political processes shaped the social structure of the U.S. landscape, pretenses of racial and cultural superiority also impacted the formulation of both U.S. and Chicano identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Paquette, Catha
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Art history, Hispanic American studies
Publication Number: 1486499
ISBN: 978-1-124-25191-2
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