Rebecca M. Schreiber is a Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on 20th and 21st century visual art and culture through the lens of migration in the United States, Mexico, and Central America. 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 in the Americas: The Aesthetics of Mobility and Immobilization analyzes artworks created collaboratively by U.S., Mexican, and Indigenous artists with migrants/refugees from the northern triangle of Central America, focusing on the connections between asylum-seekers’ experiences of displacement, mobility, and immobilization, and their aesthetic practices. Through her examination of artworks by EDELO-Migrante (Caleb Duarte, Mia Eve Rollow, and Saúl Kak Mendez) with migrants and refugees, and Cinthya Santos Briones’s Spaces of Detention, a collage project with formerly detained migrants and refugees, Schreiber develops the concept of a counter-realist aesthetic to highlight the form and practice of these and other artistic collaborations. 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 4 (2021). Two other articles are forthcoming from American Literary History and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture.
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 currently an editorial board member for Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures and the Journal of American Studies.