Paola Martell

Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Douglas Reichert Powell

Second Advisor

Carmelo Esterrich

Third Advisor

Kenneth Daley


This project investigates the work of performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pefia through a postcolonial discourse. This project will be looking at three of the artist's pieces and proposes that though seen as an abstract or avant-garde performer, Gomez-Pefia's these pieces provide a platform for the oppressed who cannot speak for themselves due to hegemony - the subaltern. In the context of Gomez-Pefia's performance art, this theory provides a postcolonial discourse on notions such as hybridity, borders, transculturalism, and other elements of identities found in lafrontera. Ultimately, this project finds that though the subaltern cannot speak, it is through Gomez-Pefia's use of strategic essential ism that allows the subaltern to take back cultural stereotypes and turn them into agency. 30 pages.