Date of Award

12-1-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig

Abstract

In this dissertation, I autoethnographically explore the Guatemalan traditional blouse, a huipil, as a cultural object of identity, where the objectification of clothing is blurred as intertextual, and can be seen as both object and art. I argue, the huipil is situated within the purview of Latina/o communication studies, contributing to the conversation of a created, a woven, and a worn mestizaje. In chapter two, I discussed the historical significance of Rigoberta Menchú as a key international historical figure. Who preserves the cultural, historical, and political significance a representation of Guatemalan Indigenous women by continuing to wear her full traditional traje. In chapter three, I moved to discussing the performance art works of Regina José Galindo. I worked to construct a historical view of Guatemala for myself as shown through Galindo’s performance art work. I attempted to find answers to Galindo’s understanding of the huipil. In chapter four, I discuss who further contributed to the overall understanding of the huipil as significant to their cultural, historical, and political orientations as women from Guatemala during my research interviews. I developed a sense of the fabricscape woven to construct an identity based on clothing that communicatively segregates the Indigena and Ladina women into those categories. Finally, I turned to the Guatemalan experiences I had as family member, friend, and American scholar focusing on the huipil. The textile that carried me through my journey to and from Guatemala. I dressed the part of the dissertation as I wear this meaning in Mi Huipil and weave this document from and back into that embodied experience.

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