Date of Award

Winter 12-29-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

Lynda Klich

Second Advisor

Harper Montgomery


In the postcolonial era, the land surrounding national borders—the borderland—has inherited a specific identity and relationship with those who navigate it. While national borderlands are oft discussed amid conversations on globalization, land disputes, and war, the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries saw the new establishment of borderlands from within in the form of segregative boundaries that purported to separate Indigenous and European peoples. This thesis concerns the manifestation of the borderland as not only an external entity, but an internal one as well. Using Mexico City, the center of the Spanish colonial empire, as the primary case study, this thesis demonstrates how internal segregative boundaries ontologically function as a borderland—not necessarily a demarcation of a physical territory, but a social boundary, a manifestation of power that engenders the social and physical marginalization of nonhegemonic communities.



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