Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico
Photo from Sergio de la Torre’s “Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario”
Professor Rebecca Schreiber is a Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on issues of migration between the United States, and Mexico, and considers relations to place, identity, and dislocation through forms of visual culture.
Professor Schreiber’s most recent book The Undocumented Everyday: Migrant Lives and the Politics of Visibility, (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) examines the significance of self-representation as a strategy in documentary photography, film, video, and audio projects involving Mexican and Central American migrants in the U.S. and U.S.-Mexico borderlands during the early 21st century. She argues that by centering their subjectivity and presence in their use of documentary media, these migrants are effectively challenging state surveillance and liberal strategies that emphasize visibility as a form of empowerment and inclusion. By visualizing new ways of belonging not necessarily defined by citizenship, these migrants are remaking documentary media: they make political claims and create new forms of protection for migrant communities experiencing increased surveillance, detention, and deportation. The Undocumented Everyday: Migrant Lives and the Politics of Visibility was awarded the 2019 Frank Jewett Mather Award by the College Art Association.
In recent years her work has been published in a number of edited book collections, including The Latina/o Midwest Reader, edited by Claire F. Fox, Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez and Omar Valerio-Jiménez (University of Illinois Press, 2017); Remaking Reality: U.S. Documentary Culture after 1945, edited by Sara Blair, Franny Nudelman and Joseph Entin, (University of North Carolina Press, 2018); and Border Spaces: Visualizing the U.S.-Mexico Frontera, edited by Katherine Morrissey and John-Michael Warner (University of Arizona Press, 2018). She has also published essays in numerous journals, including “Counter-Documents: Migrant Activists, Mobility, and the Politics of Visibility,” in The Global Condition, Living Commons (2018), whose editorial collective includes Denise Ferreira da Silva, Stefano Harney, and Fred Moten; “The Undocumented Everyday: Migrant Rights and Performative Strategies in the work of Alex Rivera,” which was part of a special issue of the Journal of American Studies on U.S. Immigration (April 2016), and “Confronting Regimes of Legality in ‘Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario, 1989-2009’” in “Calling the Law into Question: Confronting the Illegal and Illicit in Public Arenas,” Radical History Review, Issue 113 (Spring 2012). She is currently co-editing an issue of Radical History Review on “Radical Histories of Sanctuary” with Professors A. Naomi Paik and Jason Ruiz, which is forthcoming in October 2019.
Professor Schreiber is also the author of Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). She has published research related to this project in Imagining Our Americas: Towards a Transnational Frame (Duke University Press, 2007) edited by Sandhya Shukla and Heidi Tinsman, and Adventures into Mexico: American Tourism Beyond the Border (Rowman and Littlefield Press, Jaguar Series on Latin America, 2006) edited by Nicholas Bloom. In addition, she has also published her work in Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, American Quarterly, Overhere: A European Journal of American Culture and Afterimage.