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Title: Post-revolutionary body politics : Diego Rivera and Juan Rulfo (1922-1965)
Author: O'Sullivan, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 0943
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores evolving aesthetic and intellectual interpretations of nationhood in post-revolutionary Mexico through a comparative reading of the bodily imagery presented in the murals and illustrations of Diego Rivera (1922-1935) and the fictional, photographic and cinematic works of Juan Rulfo (1953-1965). Working in different media, Rivera and Rulfo are identified as monuments to two distinct moments in Mexico's cultural history, yet they have never been examined comparatively. Reading their artistic corpora side-by-side reveals a shared preoccupation with the body that sheds light not only on its function as a critical political signifier in their works, but also on how the ideas of nation and revolution were conceptualised, both literally and figuratively, in primarily corporeal terms during this critical period in Mexican history. Examining their works in relation to key aspects of the post-revolutionary nation-building project, the four chapters of the thesis map an evolution in representations of the body, as it transitions from a state of stability, legibility and cohesion in Rivera's works of the 1920s and 1930s, to one of precariousness, ambiguity and flux in Rulfo's artistic output post-1953. Locating these images for the first time within Mexico's evolving post-revolutionary intellectual landscape and the broader constellation of thinkers and artists that shaped the national imaginary during these years, I analyse their distinct corporeal imaginaries to trace the imagined lifecycle of the revolutionary nation from the euphoria of the 1920s to the phase of disenchantment beginning with the Alemán administration (1946-1952). Corrective to previous studies examining the cultural negotiation of post-revolutionary identity, the thesis analyses these representations within an interdisciplinary framework that sheds light on the intimate but previously unexplored links between artistic and intellectual activity during this period and contextualises Rivera's and Rulfo's works within the broader dialogue between visual and literary forms that defined post-revolutionary artistic production.
Supervisor: Blanco, María del Pilar Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available