Imaging the Great Puerto Rican Family

Imaging the Great Puerto Rican Family : Framing Nation, Race, and Gender During the American Century

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In this book, Hilda Llorens offers a ground-breaking study of images-photographs, postcards, paintings, posters, and films-about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans made by American and Puerto Rican image-makers between 1890 and 1990. Through illuminating discussions of artists, images, and social events, the book offers a critical analysis of the power-laden cultural and historic junctures imbricated in the creation of re-presentations of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans by Americans ("outsiders") and Puerto Ricans ("insiders") during an historical epoch marked by the twin concepts of "modernization" and "progress." The study excavates the ways in which colonial power and resistance to it have shaped representations of Puerto Rico and its people. Hilda Llorens demonstrates how nation, race, and gender figure in representation, and how these representations in turn help shape the discourses of nation, race, and gender. Imaging The Great Puerto Rican Family masterfully illustrates that as significant actors in the shaping of national conceptions of history image-makers have created iconic symbols deeply enmeshed in an "emotional aesthetics of nation." The book proposes that images as important conveyers of knowledge and information are a fertile data site. At the same time, Llorens underscores how colonial modernity turned global, the conceptual framework informing the analysis, not only calls attention to the national and global networks in which image-makers have been a part of, and by which they have been influenced, but highlights the manners by which technologies of imaging and "seeing" have been prime movers as well as critics of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 290 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 20 black & white halftones, 4 tables
  • 0739189182
  • 9780739189184

About Hilda Lloréns

Hilda Llorens, PhD, is a faculty member in the Sociology and Anthropology department at the University of Rhode more

Review quote

Drawing on photographs and works of art, Llorens explores the representations of Puerto Rican people during 'the American century' and the sociopolitical dimensions of those representations. She develops these arguments using current and popular theorists, including Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, Alfred Gell, and Susan Sontag, and appropriately references contributions from Puerto Rican scholars fairly thoroughly. These qualities contribute to the potential value of the work in broadening recognition of the Puerto Rican experience among scholars in anthropology, art history, and politics of representation, for example...Llorens' work here is ... commendable for scholarly audiences, to whom the material is likely to be unfamiliar, and accessible for use at the advanced college level and above. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. CHOICE Hilda Llorens offers a special and coherent account of Puerto Rican politics and culture in the 20th century as viewed through the lens of photographic and graphic depiction. Here are the contours of the historic transfer from one colonial regime to another and the passage into the "American century," presented with theoretical sophistication and in lucid, engaging prose. Step into this world and walk through it with this highly informed guide and you are sure to emerge more knowledgeable and critically sensitive to the many issues and challenges that have confronted the "Great Puerto Rican family," including and highlighting its long-ignored Black stepchildren, while gaining a deft exposure to its rich photographic and artistic traditions. -- Juan Flores, New York University Llorens' book offers a much-needed interdisciplinary analysis of the relationship between art and the visual politics of 'othering' entrenched in colonial practices. Llorens looks closely at photographs, visual works, and art produced during key periods of Puerto Rican history (between 1890 and 1990). By skillfully contrasting local and colonial visual representations, she reveals how the work of Puerto Rican artists is in dialogue (sometimes also in confrontation) with U. S. economic interests and institutions. -- Isar P. Godreau, University of Puerto Rico at Cayeyshow more

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: Looking into the Frame Chapter 1: Imaging Puerto Rican Natives, 1890-1920 Chapter 2: Building a "Photographic Case" for the Rehabilitation of the Colony, 1930s Chapter 3: The Emergence of Black-Puerto Ricans in Portraiture, 1930s Chapter 4: Setting the Stage for Mid-Twentieth Century Imagery of Puerto Rico, 1920-1951 Chapter 5: The Rise of Cultural Nationalism and Filmic Narratives of Blackness, 1948-1970 Chapter 6: Dynamics of the 1970s: National and Racial Transfigurations Chapter 7: What the American Century has Wrought: Puerto Rican Images in the Late Twentieth Century Epilogue: Representing Puerto Rico during the American Century References Index About the Authorshow more