Visual Culture Studies

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

Annual Report LASA 2020-2021

1. A summary of the business meeting including the number of people that attended, topics discussed and conclusions.

At the VCS business meeting, which was attended by 23 members, the election of the new VCS executive committee members were made by acclamation and the prizes of the VCS section were announced. The Council reported on activities over the previous year, including virtual member social/networking events as well as an initiative to develop a new prize in collaboration with the Association for Latin American Art of the College Art Association. Finally, the assembled members considered possible future activities including expanding collaborations with artists and practitioners alongside expanding our web presence and marking the 10th anniversary of our initial organizing meeting at next year’s congress in San Francisco.

2. The results of the Section’s elections.

VCS executive committee members:

Co-chair: Ernesto Capello/Macalester College (2021-2022)

Co-chair: Meghan Tierney/Ursinus College (2021-2023)

Tamara Walker/U Toronto (2021-2022)

Giuliana Borea/University of Essex (2021-2022)

Bethany Wade/Emory University (2021-2023)

Sara Garzón/Cornell University (2021-2023)

There was one nomination for the co-chair position (2021-2023) available on the section’s executive board and one nomination for an at-large committee member (2021-2023). Instead of elections, the co-chair (Meghan Tierney) and at-large committee member (Sara Garzón) were confirmed by acclamation at the VCS business meeting during the virtual LASA congress in May.

3. A review of the activities and plans for the coming term.

As in previous years, the VCS section aims to continue to organize a pre-conference workshop and sponsor at least two section panels at LASA, given the success of both formats of section activity. The VCS section will also continue to a prize for the best book and best essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies. Building on the success of our networking events in 2020-2021, we are planning further opportunities for section members to informally meet and network. We are also hoping to expand our web presence by developing a more intricate website to build on our already existing social media presence (our Facebook group currently has over 1,400 members and regularly serves as a locus for announcements and networking). We are also hoping to be able to bring more of our network formally into the section, perhaps through developing new options for practitioner collaborations.

4. The names of the Section’s grantees.

The Visual Culture Studies Section Prize Committee, which this year consisted of Ernesto Capello (Macalester College), Meghan Tierney (Ursinus College), Tamara Walker (University of Toronto), and Talía Dajes (University of Utah) worked with previous winners Jennifer Jolly (Ithaca College) and Lesley Wolff (Texas Tech University) to determine the following awards.

Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Finalists:

Karen Benezra. Dematerialization: Art and Design in Latin America. Studies on Latin American Art, 2. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2020.

Carolina Rueda. Ciudad Y Fantasmagoría: Dimensiones De La Mirada En El Cine Urbano De Latinoamérica Del Siglo Xxi. Santiago: Editorial Cuarto Propio, 2019.

Winner:

Ángeles Donoso-Macaya.

The Insubordination of Photography: Documentary Practices Under Chile's Dictatorship. Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2020.

The Insubordination of Photography demonstrates the power of scholarship to bring a field into being. Far more than a study of documentary photography in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, this book animates the diverse practices of photography, from photographic production and distribution to efforts to archive, copy, even reembody photos of disappeared loved ones. Ángeles Donoso-Macaya’s efforts to reconstruct the field of Chilean photography—a field that its very practitioners at times doubted—brings together a range of archival, oral history, and photocopied publications to create a testimony to Chilean photographers’ use of their art as a tool of resistance. Even blank-space placeholders for photographs in censored journals are reinvested with significance, as we are led to understand the importance of Chilean photography, as much for its visible absences as its persistence under conditions of censorship, surveillance, and deprivation. Ángeles Donoso-Macaya draws readers in with her highly engaging and at times surprising account of this period and has made a welcome contribution to the literature on Latin American and Chilean visual culture, history, photography and art history. -- Dr. Jennifer Jolly, Professor of Art History at Ithaca College

Best Essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Finalists:

Cole Rizki. “Familiar Grammars of Loss and Belonging: Curating Trans Kinship in Post-Dictatorship Argentina.” Journal of Visual Culture 19, no. 2 (August 2020): 197–211. https://doi.org/10.1177/1470412920941905.

Alena Robin. “Antonio Enríquez, Felipe Pastor Y San Ángel Predicando: Un Cuadro Desconocido En La Colección Del Museo Regional De Guadalajara.” Anales Del Instituto De Investigaciones Estéticas 42, no. 117 (Sept 2020): 259-87. https://doi.org/10.22201/iie.18703062e.2020.117.2733.

Winner:

Jessica Gordon-Burroughs.

“The Pixelated Afterlife of Nicolás Guillén Landirán: Migratory Forms.” JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 59, no. 2 (2020): 23 42. doi:10.1353/cj.2020.0001.

This article exemplifies and innovates the field of visual culture studies through subject and methodology alike. Gordon-Burroughs provides a rich history of Afro-Cuban film maker Nicolás Guillén Landirán and adeptly interrogates the material life and agency of film and video in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution. She complicates current understandings of the Cuban-diasporic film archive by examining the production and reception of his final video work, Inside Downtown (2001), in terms of the video’s digital materiality and transnational memory. Gordon-Burroughs situates this discourse within the complex dynamics of race as it informs Guillén Landirán’s subjects and reception in the Cuban diaspora, where Afro-diasporic subjects are frequently erased or silenced. This article thus amplifies racial tensions in the Cuban diaspora and problematizes their intervention into cinematic memory and archives. While she raises important complexities within Cuban and Cuban-diasporic cinema, Gordon-Burroughs’s rigorous material and visual analysis also opens up new understandings of these previously invisibilized subjects. Gordon-Burroughs poignantly focuses her analysis on a video, Inside Downtown, in which Guillén Landirán interviews Miami-based artists in exile—a condition that echoes his own position as a Cuban exile. Layers of erasure, diaspora, memory and struggles for visibility thus dynamically intersect in this article, presenting an exciting model for not only cinema studies, but also visual culture writ large in terms of her treatment of subjects, objects, materials, and identities.

-- Dr. Lesley Wolff, Assistant Professor of Latinx and Latin American Art History at Texas Tech University

Annual Report LASA 2019-2020 

1. A summary of the business meeting including the number of people that attended, topics discussed and conclusions.

At the VCS business meeting the election of the new VCS executive committee members were made by acclamation and the prizes of the VCS section were announced.

2. The results of the Section’s elections.

VCS exec comm members:

Co-chair: Tamara Walker//U Toronto  (2019-2021)

Co-chair: Ernesto Capello/Macalester College (2018-2021)

Talía Dajes/University of Utah  (2018-2021)

Giuliana Borea/University of London (2019-2021)

Meghan Tierney/University of Minnesota (2019-2021)

Bethany Wade/University of Pittsburgh (2019-2021)

There was one nomination for the co-chair position available on the section’s executive board. Instead of elections, the co-chair was confirmed by acclamation at the VCS business meeting during the virtual LASA congress in May.

3. A review of the activities and plans for the coming term.

As in previous years, the VCS section aims to continue to organize a pre-conference workshop and sponsor at least two section panels at LASA, given the success of both formats of section activity. The VCS section will also continue to a prize for the best book and best essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies. Finally, in response to a member survey completed in May 2020, the VCS section has initiated attempts to bring our membership together outside of annual conferences and create opportunities to learn more about one another’s research activities. To that end we held a virtual networking event in July, and an online teaching workshop in August, and re-introduced our newsletter. Plans for more installments of the aforementioned activities are in the works for the upcoming academic year progresses.

4. The names of the Section’s grantees:

The Visual Culture Studies Section Prize Committee, which this year consisted of Ernesto Capello (Macalester College), Meghan Tierney (Ursinus College), and Tamara Walker (University of Toronto)

Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Winner
Jennifer Jolly

Ithaca College

Creating Pátzcuaro, Creating Mexico: Art, Tourism, and Nation Building Under Lázaro Cárdenas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018)

Best Essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Winner
Sara Garzón

Cornell University

"Manuel Amaru Cholango: Decolonizing Technologies and the Construction of Indigenous Futures." Arts 8, no. 4 (2019): 163

Honorable Mention
Lesley A. Wolff

Texas Tech University

“From Raw to Refined: Edouard Duval-Carrié’s Sugar Conventions (2013),” African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 12, no. 3 (2019): 355-374

 

Annual Report LASA 2018-2019 

 1. A summary of the business meeting including the number of people that attended, topics discussed and conclusions
 
At the VCS business meeting the election of the new VCS executive committee members were made by acclamation and the prizes of the VCS section were announced. 7 members of the VCS section attended the business meeting.
2. The results of the Section’s elections
Co-chair: Liliana Gómez/University of Zurich (2018-2020)
Co-chair: Tamara Walker/U Toronto (2019-2021)
Council Members:
Ernesto Capello/Macalester College (2018-2020)
Talía Dajes/University of Utah (2018-2020)
Giuliana Borea/University of London (2019-2021)
Meghan Tierney/University of Minnesota (2019-2021)
Bethany Wade/University of Pittsburgh (2019-2021)
Since there were three nominations for the three positions available in the section’s executive board, all three of them have been selected as new council members. Instead of elections, they were confirmed by acclamation at the VCS business meeting during the LASA congress in Boston.
3. A review of the activities and plans for the coming term
 
 
As in previous years, the VCS section aims to continue to organize a pre-conference workshop and sponsor at least two section panels at LASA, given the success of both formats of section activity. Also, the VCS section will organize for the next term a prize for the best book and best essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies. The Visual Culture Studies Section Prize Committee is TBD.
4. The names of the Section’s grantees
 
 

The Visual Culture Studies Section Prize Committee, which this year consisted of Ernesto Capello (Macalester College), Barbara Mundy (Fordham University), and Meghan Tierney (University of Minnesota).

Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Winner

Maria de Lourdes Ghidolli

Universidad de Buenos Aires

Estereotipos en negro: Representaciones y autorrepresentaciones visuales de afroporteños en el siglo XIX. Rosario: Prohistoria Ediciones, 2016

Honorable Mention

Michele Greet

George Mason University

Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris Between the Wars. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018.

Best Essay in Latin American Visual Culture Studies

Presented by the Visual Cultures Studies Section

Winner

Tatiana Reinoza

Dartmouth College

The Island Within the Island: Remapping Dominican York. Archives of American Art Journal 57.2 (Fall 2018), 4-27