Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Gregory Smith - Chair
Academic and popular discourse frequently positions postcolonial countries as receivers of visual culture rather than as producers and transmitters. These countries are often deemed as being subject to hegemonic forces of global media flows, the influx of foreign programming into their media landscapes hindering any significant development of distinct national identity through visual media. Since independence from British rule in 1962, government, media practitioners and viewers in the postcolonial Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago have sought ways to build a national visual culture despite the inundation of non-local visual texts into the country. This study positions postcolonial Trinidad and Tobago as actively productive of its own identity, and through a cultural studies analysis of television advertising, examines the central role that this industry (including personnel, economic structure, equipment and texts) plays in the construction of a national visual culture. This process of collective imagining takes place within the visual imaging of the advertising industry, and ultimately charts the undoing of colonial, hegemonic discourses within the broader mediascape. Ultimately the advertising industry facilitates the active negotiation of national identity, catalyzing the process of visual sovereignty.
McFarlane-Alvarez, Susan Lillian, "Imaging and the National Imagining: Theorizing Visual Sovereignty in Trinidad and Tobago Moving Image Media through Analysis of Television Advertising" (2006). Communication Dissertations. Paper 3.