American Studies ETDs

Author

Jadira Gurule

Publication Date

6-26-2015

Abstract

This thesis examines the body of artwork produced in support of President Barack Obama during the 2008 United States' presidential election. It situates the artistic production from this election as both a product of and tool for furthering discourses of neoliberalism, multiculturalism, post-raciality, and American exceptionalism. A critical focus is trained on the ways in which Obama as a symbol and icon indexes and organizes knowledge about race, gender, sexuality, and national belonging in the United States and examines Obama as a form of visual archive. Visual culture studies, black cultural studies, and critical mixed-race scholarship are central to this project which is foundationally concerned with better understanding the ways in which talking about and addressing the persistence of racism and systemic inequality is difficult in an era where a figure like Obama is held up to mark the attainment of a post-racial moment.

Language

English

Keywords

Obama, Blackness, Mixed-race, Visual Culture, Post-Race, Post-Black, Neoliberalism, Multiculturalism

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree

Masters

Department Name

American Studies

First Advisor

Tiongson, Antonio

First Committee Member (Chair)

Schreiber, Rebecca

Second Committee Member

Martinez-Guillem, Susana

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