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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Luis Marentes

Second Advisor

Barbara Zecchi

Third Advisor

Aviva Ben-Ur

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Cultural History | Jewish Studies | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Latina/o Studies


This dissertation traces U.S.-Mexico cross-border networks during the cultural Renaissance of early 20th century influenced by artistic and intellectual encounters in post-revolutionary Mexico. I explore from a transnational perspective the representation of Mexican-Jewish identity in post-revolutionary Mexico through the lens of Mexican-American Jewish anthropologist, artist, and journalist Anita Brenner (1905-1974). In my dissertation, Anita Brenner’s Vision: A Transnational Search for Mexican Jewish Identity, I expand on the notion of mexicanidad and reframe the cosmopolitanism of the time and its manifestation in the United States, arguing that Brenner’s contributions were instrumental in linking Mexico to the larger map of international modernism. Grounded in theoretical frameworks overlapping Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, Latin American Jewish Studies, History, Women and Gender Studies, U.S. Latinx Studies, and Transatlantic Studies, this project advocates the use of archival material to uncover plural visions of Mexican Jewish identity and thus contributes to the understanding of a more inclusive and diverse social and cultural history. I analyze Brenner’s life and work in Mexico and the United States, the conditions that drew her north and south, and her interactions and exchanges with transnational artists, intellectuals, and Jewish immigrants. This project reconstructs how Brenner promoted the emerging Jewish community in Mexico to the United States Jewish press, impacted notions of Jewishness in the Americas, and how the Mexican Renaissance circulated abroad. I contend that Brenner contributed to developing a more comprehensive Jewish identity on both sides of the border. Brenner’s promotion of Mexico as a place for Jews proves a productive site to analyze the tensions between competing notions of belonging, race, religion, gender, sexuality and the reshaping of borders.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.