Rebecca M. Schreiber is a Professor in the American Studies Department at University of New Mexico and holds affiliations with the Latin American Iberian Institute, the Feminist Research Institute, and the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute. Her research focuses on 20th and 21st century migration between Central America, Mexico and the U.S. through the lens of visual culture. Her first book, Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (2008), is a study of the ways that cultural ideas and aesthetic practices travel across national borders, challenging the binary, nation-based frames of seeing and analyzing post-World War II visual art, film, and literature in the U.S. and Mexico. Her second book, The Undocumented Everyday: Migrant Lives and the Politics of Visibility (2018), which received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism (2019), examines the relationship between documentary aesthetics, Mexican and Central American migration to the U.S. and U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and im/migrant social movements. She also co-edited an issue of Radical History Review on “Radical Histories of Sanctuary” with A. Naomi Paik and Jason Ruiz (October 2019).
Her current book project, Visualizing Displacement: Artists, Accompaniment, and Migration in the Americas, analyzes artworks created collaboratively by U.S., Mexican, Salvadoran, and Indigenous artists with migrants from Central America and Haiti. In 2021 she received The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant to support research and writing on this project. Related to this project she published “Performing Sanctuary” in Migration and Society: Advances in Research (2021); “The Work of Arte Urgente: Performative Acts of Political and Artistic Imagination” in Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (2022); and “Visions of Refuge: The Central American Exodus and the Floating Ladder” in a special issue of American Literary History on “Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees” (2022).
She is currently a Co-PI with Professors Catherine Ramirez and Jonathan X. Inda on “Bioprecarity: Latinx Migrants, Captivity, and Resistance,” Crossing Latinidades Collaborative, Cross-Institutional, and Comparative Research Working Groups and Latino Humanities Studies Grant, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation (2022-2024).
In the spring of 2023, she co-organized “Relations Beyond Colonial Borders: Indigeneity, Racialization, Hospitality” with Natalia Brizuela, Samera Esmeir, and Alyosha Goldstein. This seminar was part of a series involving UC Berkeley’s International Consortium of Critical Theory Program, and was held in Albuquerque, NM from April 21-22, 2023.
She served as a consultant for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945” (February 17-May 17, 2020). She also consulted on public programming for the exhibition of The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility in Albuquerque, which was part the Getty Foundation’s sponsored initiative “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.” She is an editorial board member for Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures and the Journal of American Studies.