Esther Gabara

Information about Esther Gabara

About Esther Gabara

Esther Gabara (Ph.D., Stanford University) is the E. Blake Byrne Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. A specialist in modern and contemporary Latin American literature and visual culture, she teaches a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses that bring together research, theory, and practice, and introduce students to scholarly and artistic genealogies in the Global South. She co-directed the Global Brazil Lab at Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute, supported by a Mellon Foundation grant (2014-2017). Gabara is the faculty guest curator of the forthcoming exhibition, Pop América, 1965-1975, which will travel from the McNay Art Museum (San Antonio, 2018) to the Nasher Museum of Art (Duke, 2019), and the Block Museum of Art (Northwestern, 2019). Pop América was awarded the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize for curatorial innovation, and generous support from the Warhol Foundation. Gabara recently contributed to two exhibitions in the Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America (LA/LA) 2017 program supported by the Getty Foundation: the Autry Museum of the American West’s La Raza, and Revolution and Ritual: The Photographs of Sara Castrejón, Graciela Iturbide, and Tatiana Parcero at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College. She published the monograph Errant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and Brazil (2008, Duke University Press), as well as numerous scholarly articles and exhibition catalogue essays. Forthcoming texts will be included in Independent Salons, 1968-1971 (2018, Contemporary Art University Museum, MUAC/UNAM, Mexico) and Estudios de cultura visual en América Latina (2018, Institute of Aesthetic Research,  IIE/ UNAM, Mexico). 


"¿Acaso hay otro orden?: Shouts and Murmurs from the 1970s"
This presentation will introduce important conversations between intellectuals residing in the geopolitical region referred to as Latin America in the 1970s. These conversations were not always pleasant, sometimes featuring raised voices and battles for the microphone, as famously displayed at the 1975 International Women’s Year conference in Mexico City. These struggles were necessary to address the inequities and violence embedded in persistent yet unevenly distributed colonial formations of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. The conversations crossed boundaries: between nation states, between formal educational and art spaces and other sites, between urban and rural areas, and across the hegemonic structures that dictated social identities. Occasionally, these exchanges featured glimmers of other kinds of relation. The premise of this presentation is to show that these historical arguments and collaborations are crucial to our projects with and about contemporary artists and intellectuals, whose work can be described as feminist, decolonial, or anti-racist.