Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Romance Languages and Literature: Hispanic Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



In this project, I trace the methods by which different sectors of society – from writers, journalists, photographers, political militants, graphic artists, activists, and intellectuals, to the State – imagined collective subjectivities in the illustrated printed press while negotiating with

current phenomena like modernization processes and political ideologies. With the stroke of the pen, pencil, or carving tool, these image makers had the power to craft what it meant to be a worker or a peasant. At times tinged with satire, and at others with realism, the images were part of various efforts to forge a people. I argue that the illustrated newspapers, magazines, leaflets, and booklets that circulated in the country during and after the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), constructed a concept of a people that challenged the hegemonic formation of the State. I discuss the intersection between subjectivity, practice, and visual and written culture and engage with the theorizations on the matter by thinkers such as Ernesto Laclau, Gilberto Giménez, and Georges Didi-Huberman. By examining cultural artifacts, including images, prints, photographs, and drawings printed in such publications as El Universal Ilustrado (1917-1940) and El Machete (1924-1938), I maintain that these social actors produced competing versions of what constituted a Mexican citizen, raising contradictions and tensions within the processes of official nationalization. My study contributes to scholarship that has re-examined the formation of post-Revolutionary nationhood in the last few years, moving away from the focus on State formation, and addresses the horizontal and aesthetic dimensions of said construction by cultural producers from non-State actors and grassroots political sectors.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Ignacio Sánchez Prado

Committee Members

William Acree, J. A. Brown, Tabea Linhard, Angela Miller,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/qnd7-9c78