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Graduate Summer 2018: Felix Rodriguez

Mapping Contested Identities in Dominican Art Education: A Critical History

Department of Art Education

Mapping Contested Identities in Dominican Art Education: A Critical History

Felix’s dissertation, Mapping Contested Identities in Dominican Art Education: A Critical History, examines the development of art education in the Dominican Republic in relation to ideological constructs, social, political, and economic contexts, and foreign influences. In the Dominican Republic, the traditional ruling classes have used cultural sites such as schools and museums to construct discourses of identity that privileged an identification with Hispanic culture, a mythicized version of Tainos’ past, and the negation of artistic and cultural contributions from our African heritage. Drawing upon the work of Paolo Freire and Chela Sandoval, Felix investigates how these narratives of identity conditioned what kind of art education different social and racial groups had access to, and determined whose art and culture was worth learning about.