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.
Obama, Blackness, Mixed-race, Visual Culture, Post-Race, Post-Black, Neoliberalism, Multiculturalism
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Gurule, Jadira. "Obama as Visual Icon: Blackness, Post-Raciality, and Multiculturalism in the Neoliberal Age." (2015). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/amst_etds/18