Ella Diaz


Ella Diaz

Chair and Professor

Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies




Current Research Activities

Current research projects include a post-script to her 2020 A Ver volume on José Montoya; it comprises a collection of interrelated essays on the canonical Chicano artist’s early poetry publications as they’ve become available online, through the digitization of his major library collection and related ones. Exploring the implications of the digital humanities for vanguard Chicana/o artists in the United States, Diaz reveals the intellectual damage and cultural loss resultant from the erasures of these artists in the national canons and U.S. institutions. She does so by drawing on western theories of archives—from Michel Foucault (ca 1970s) to Jacques Derrida (1995)—as well as contemporary Chicana interventions by scholar Karen Mary Davalos in Chicana/o Remix: Art and Errata Since the Sixties (NYU 2018), María Cotera’s essay, “‘Invisibility Is an Unnatural Disaster’: Feminist Archival Praxis after the Digital Turn” (2015), and Cotera's co-edited anthology Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era (2018).

Diaz’s other research projects involve exhibition reviews of major Chicana/o and U.S. Latinx art shows, as well as her visual and cultural analyses of testimonio as an art of the Americas. As a narrative “genre,” testimonio takes many forms that reflect the convergence of several systems of knowledge, following fifteenth and sixteenth-century European conquests of Indigenous American societies; the multiple modes of testimonio, or telling stories of whole communities, continue to expose historical forces of power beyond the control of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities of the Americas.