1st Edition

Women Photographers and Mexican Modernity Framing the Twentieth Century

    180 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The photographers discussed in this book probe the most contentious aspects of social organization in Mexico, questioning what it means to belong, to be Mexican, to experience modernity, and to create art as a culturally, politically, or racially marginalized person.

    By choosing human subjects, spaces, and aesthetics excluded from the Lettered City, each of the photographers discussed in this volume produces a corpus of art that contests dominant narratives of social and cultural modernization in Mexico. Taken together, their work represents diverging and diverse notions of what is meant by Mexican modernity.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, history of photography, women’s studies, and Mexican studies.

    Part I Gendering the Gaze: Frame, Context, Collaboration

    1 In and Around Photographic Portraits (or Portraiture?)

    Eli Bartra

    2 The Margins and Potential Horizons of Mexico’s Postrevolutionary Modernity in Four Photographs by Tina Modotti, Kati Horna, Mariana Yampolsky, and Elsa Medina

    Ryan Long

    Part II Counter-Perspectives: Ideologies, Subjectivity, and Corporeality

    3 Earth Images: Tina Modotti and Agrarian Radicalism in Mexico

    Elissa J. Rashkin

    4 Fundamental Considerations for Mariana Yampolsky’s Photography

    Nathanial Gardner

    5 Gaze as Mirror/Encountering the Other: On the Photographic Communication of Graciela Iturbide

    Tanius Karam

    6 Unsettling Hyper-Heteronormative Masculinity: Lourdes Grobet’s Family Portraits

    David William Foster

    Part III Re-Presenting Gender and Race

    7 Solidarity and Witnessing in the Photographs of Marta Zarak

    Viviane Mahieux

    8 A Record of Things Seen: The Photographs of Frida Hartz in Irma Pineda’s Guie’ni Zebe/La flor que se llevó

    Tamara R. Williams

    9 Seeing and Feeling the 1990s: Phototextual Explorations by Maruch Sántiz Gómez and Xunka’ López Díaz

    Julia R. Brown

    10 The Untold Story of Black Mexico: Uncovering the Identity of the Afro-Descendant Woman in the Photography of Koral Carballo and Mara Sánchez Renero

    Rosita Scerbo


    Julia R. Brown is Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University. She served as associate editor for the journal Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos from 2017 to 2020. Her research is concerned with Indigenous representation in Mexican visual cultures. She is a Fulbright-García Robles recipient.

    Radmila Stefkova is an education technology professional and researches media and visual literature. She has served as an associate editor for the Spanish and Portuguese Review for three years and as a regular contributor to the cultural magazine Latin American Literature Today.

    Tamara R. Williams is Professor of Hispanic Studies and Executive Director of the Wang Center for Global Education at Pacific Lutheran University. Her area of specialization is the Latin American long poem.