Diasporic Visions: Nuyorican Photography in the 1970s and 1980s


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art, Art History & Visual Studies


This dissertation excavates photography as a diasporic practice in the work of Nuyorican (New York– born or residing Puerto Rican) artists in the 1970s and 1980s. It traces how individual photographers and collectives produced a distinctively Caribbean spatial imaginary within the diasporic space of New York City, used formal strategies to emphasize the surface of the image as a site of resistance that challenged the blighted image of the barrio, and embraced the medium’s potential to serve the community. By foregrounding the camera’s role in Nuyorican worldmaking, this project reveals how photography opens a broad view onto diaspora itself as a visual condition and claims the Puerto Rican experience of coloniality as endemic to twentieth-century American art and visuality.