Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type



Ethnic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Arturo J. Aldama


This work provides an ethnographic and analytical study of the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe and the ways in which she has been represented both historically and through contemporary art and American street art. This work seeks to provide a thorough understanding of the origins of the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe so that one can employ with the image in order to confront and resist oppression and cultural violence while critically engaging politics of identity, race, gender, and sexuality. Because the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe is so widely recognized and honored throughout Latina/o and Chicana/o communities she serves as a valuable vehicle for communicating messages of hope, resistance, and critique of the established order to numerous people. The thesis directs most of its focus to the ways in which artists have progressively reinvented La Virgen de Guadalupe in order to speak to specific needs and concerns of not only Mexican and Chicana/o communities but to all of those who exist within neocolonial social structures. The goal of this work is to provide the reader with a thorough background of the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe so that one can ultimately engage with reinventions of the image in order to embrace and embark upon a journey of decolonization.