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Esther Gabara

Professor of Romance Studies
Romance Studies
Box 90257, Department of Romance Studies, Durham, NC 27708-0257
212 Language Center, Department of Romance Studies, Durham, NC 27708-0257
Office hours Thursdays 3-5 pm and by appointment. 212 Languages  


Esther Gabara works with modern and contemporary art, literature, and critical theory from the Americas. Her teaching in the departments of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University covers visual studies, modernism, photography, Pop Art and popular culture, feminism, public art, and coloniality in contemporary art. She was the faculty guest curator of the exhibition, Pop América, 1965-1975 (McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, 2018-2020), which was awarded the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize for curatorial innovation. She also edited and wrote for the bilingual exhibition catalogue, Pop América, 1965-1975 (Nasher Museum of Art/Duke University Press, 2018). Gabara is the author of two monographs: Errant Modernism: The Ethos of Photography in Mexico and Brazil (Duke University Press, 2008), and Non-Literary Fiction: Art of the Americas Under Neoliberalism (University of Chicago Press, 2022). She is currently researching the institutions in Spain involved in the global diffusion of contemporary Latin American art since the 1980s, with an eye to what they reveal about Hispanism and coloniality. Other recent publications include essays for Un arte sin tutela: Salón Independiente en México, 1968-1971 (MUAC/UNAM), La Raza (Autry Museum of the American West), and Revolution and Ritual: The Photographs of Sara Castrejón, Graciela Iturbide, and Tatiana Parcero (Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery/Getty Foundation).

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Romance Studies · 2022 - Present Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies · 2022 - Present Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies · 2022 - Present Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

Stanford University · 2001 Ph.D.
Stanford University · 1997 M.A.
University of Pennsylvania · 1993 B.A.