In Imaging The Great Puerto Rican Family: Framing Nation, Race and Gender during the American Century, Hilda Lloréns offers a ground-breaking study of images—photographs, postcards, paintings, posters, and films—about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans made by American and Puerto Rican image-makers between 1890 and 1990. Through illuminating discussions of artists, images, and social events, the book offers a critical analysis of the power-laden cultural and historic junctures imbricated in the creation of re-presentations of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans by Americans ("outsiders") and Puerto Ricans ("insiders") during an historical epoch marked by the twin concepts of "modernization" and "progress." The study excavates the ways in which colonial power and resistance to it have shaped representations of Puerto Rico and its people. Hilda Lloréns demonstrates how nation, race, and gender figure in representation, and how these representations in turn help shape the discourses of nation, race, and gender. Imaging The Great Puerto Rican Family masterfully illustrates that as significant actors in the shaping of national conceptions of history image-makers have created iconic symbols deeply enmeshed in an "emotional aesthetics of nation." The book proposes that images as important conveyers of knowledge and information are a fertile data site. At the same time, Lloréns underscores how colonial modernity turned global, the conceptual framework informing the analysis, not only calls attention to the national and global networks in which image-makers have been a part of, and by which they have been influenced, but highlights the manners by which technologies of imaging and "seeing" have been prime movers as well as critics of modernity.
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Hilda Lloréns (Author)
Hilda Lloréns, PhD, is a faculty member in the Sociology and Anthropology department at the University of Rhode Island.