June 1, 2018 Swann Foundation Fellow to Discuss Visual Culture of the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848)

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Mexican news. Engraving by Alfred Jones after painting by Richard Caton Woodville, 1853. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.03889

Swann Foundation Fellow Erika Pazian will give an illustrated lecture at the Library of Congress discussing the visual imagery produced on both sides of the border during the U.S.- Mexican War (1846-1848). 

Pazian will present “Villains to be Vanquished: Envisioning the Enemy in the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848)” at noon on Thursday, June 21, in the West Dining Room on the   sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is free and open to the public.  Tickets are not needed.

The U.S.-Mexican War transformed the North American continent, as Mexico lost approximately half of its national territory in the north and the United States acquired what became the modern states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Visual culture that once celebrated the shared status of colonized nations in the infancy of independence shifted to highlight the contrasts between the two countries in the midst of warfare.

Imagery on both sides of the border toggled between representations of the battle’s actualities and allegories of power and homeland. Through comparative analysis of political cartoons and military lithographs, Pazian will show how each country came to define itself and will address how issues of race, class and political affiliation complicated the process of national self-definition.

Pazian is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, whose research focuses on Mexican visual culture in the 19th century. Her dissertation examines the visual culture of the U.S. and Mexico from post-independence to 1876 to establish the role of imagery in the formation of each country’s national identity. She has presented her dissertation research at the Association of Historians of American Art Biennial Symposium and the College Art Association Annual Conference. She has received support for her research through the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies 2016 Summer Research Travel Fellowship and the Early Research Initiative Knickerbocker Award for Archival Research in American Studies. In addition to a Swann Foundation Fellowship, Pazian will complete fellowships at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the American Antiquarian Society in 2018.  

This presentation, sponsored by the Swann Foundation and the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, is part of the foundation’s continuing support of the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humor and satire by graphic artists from around the world.

The Swann Foundation’s advisory board includes scholars, collectors, cartoonists and Library of Congress staff members.  The foundation seeks to award one fellowship annually (or biennially) to assist scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year will be due Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.  For more information, visit loc.gov/rr/print/swann/ or e-mail swann@loc.gov.

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PR 18-077
ISSN 0731-3527