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Alumni Graduate Students

Diana Ruíz


Dissertation: “Resources of Perception: Visuality and Power at the U.S.-Mexico Border”

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Diana Flores Ruíz is a Mellon Mays Dissertation Fellow and a PhD candidate in Film & Media at Berkeley with a Certificate in Global Urban Humanities. She holds a BA from Duke University in Women’s Studies and Arts of the Moving Image. Her dissertation research on the US-Mexico border investigates developments in epistemic seeing
across visual technologies, from photography’s role in nineteenth century cartography up to contemporary virtual reality surveillance, analyzing their effects on political subjectivities of migrants and border communities.
Her secondary area of research considers the politics of museum display in mediating historical narratives of state violence in the Global South, particularly places with enduring ‘post-’ frameworks—post-dictatorship Argentina and post-apartheid South Africa, for example. Her research has been funded by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars  (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation), the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies.

Committed to public-facing programming, she has introduced films and facilitated conversations with artists at the Pacific Film Archive. With the support of the Townsend Center for the Humanities, she organized the symposium Decolonial Visions: Indigenous Epistemologies and the Politics of Form in 2018, which brought
together interdisciplinary scholars, Ojibway filmmakers, and Ohlone activists. She is currently organizing another Townsend-sponsored symposium slated for Spring 2021, Geomapping Inequalities: Strategies from Critical Black and Brown Digital Humanities.

Her writing appears in Film Quarterly, The Matter of Photography in the Americas,
and a forthcoming photo essay will appear in an anthology on power, materiality, and performance in Mexico City
from the Global Urban Humanities Mellon initiative at UC Berkeley. She also curates
film and performance with the feminist collective, GAZE.