Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Silvia Dapía

Committee Members

Carlos Riobó

Paul Julian Smith

Subject Categories

Aesthetics | Africana Studies | Anthropology | Community-Based Research | Comparative Literature | Creative Writing | Ethnic Studies | Feminist Philosophy | Film and Media Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American History | Latin American Literature | Latina/o Studies | Modern Languages | Oral History | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Philosophy | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Politics and Social Change | Spanish Literature | Visual Studies | Women's History | Women's Studies


Conceição Evaristo, Lucía Charún-Illescas, Sara Gómez, Race, Identity, Caribbean, Havana, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Afro-descendants, Black Pacific, Black Atlantic, Latinamerican Film Studies, Latinamerican Performance Studies


This dissertation examines different films, literary, and performance art pieces created by contemporary afro-descendant women from Peru, Cuba, and Brazil after the sixties with emphasis on the most relevant works of Conceição Evaristo, Sara Gómez, Victoria Santa Cruz, and Lucía Charún-Illescas. I focus my research on the crucial role these artists played in the cultural identity formation of Latin America when inserting ‘race’ as a category of socio-political analysis and cultural production. How did their films, performances, and texts challenge national narratives and imaginaries after 1960? Although in the sixties, women improved their civil rights in different countries, the ‘mujer negra’ (‘mulher negra’ or black woman) did not have the same agency nor presence in cultural and political representations of the nation as other mix-raced, white and criollo women in Perú, Cuba, and Brazil. In this research, I argue that through the arts a) afro-descendant women created independent spaces for community organization and obtained political agency over their bodies and identities, b) they sought to re-write history while recovering the lost voices of their ancestors in Latin America. My dissertation aims to contribute to the field of Latin American studies by adding an intersectional approach that includes socio perspectives on gender, race, and class.