Jennifer Ponce de León (formerly Jennifer Flores Sternad) is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on cultural production and antisystemic movements in the Americas since the 1960s. She works across studies of contemporary visual arts, literature, and performance; transnational Latina/o/x and Latin American studies; Marxist cultural studies; aesthetics; and social theory, including anticolonial and postcolonial thought and the study of social movements.

Dr. Ponce de León is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also faculty in Latin American and Latino Studies, affiliated faculty in Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies, and part of the Graduate Group in Comparative Literature. For the 2018-2019 academic year, she is a Ford Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

She is Associate Director of the Critical Theory Workshop/Atelier de Théorie Critique, an intensive research program that takes place every summer at the Sorbonne and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and which co-sponsors a series of symposia at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ponce de León’s book Another Aesthetics is Possible: Arts of Rebellion in the Fourth World War (forthcoming, Duke University Press, 2020) theorizes aesthetics as an integral force in contemporary political and social struggles. It is an interdisciplinary study of experimental and paradisciplinary literature, art, and performance produced by Argentine, Mexican, Chilean, and Chicana/o artists and writers and articulated with antisystemic movements and localized social struggles across the Americas, including Zapatismo, anti-displacement struggles in Los Angeles, the 2001 uprising in Argentina, and radical grassroots human rights activism.

She recently published “Through an Anticolonial Looking Glass: On Restitution, Indigenismo, and Zapatista Solidarity in Raiders of the Lost Crown” in American Quarterly (March 2018) and “How to See Violence: Artistic Activism & the Radicalization of Human Rights” in ASAP/Journal (May 2018). Her writing has also appeared in the edited collections Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy and Activism in the Americas (U. Chicago Press, 2017); Dancing with the Zapatistas (Duke U. Press, 2015); Live Art in LA, 1970-1983 (Routledge, 2012); MEX/LA: Mexican Modernisms in Los Angeles (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011); Art and Activism in the Age of Globalization: Essays on Disruption (NAi, 2011), and in the journals Social Text, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and e-misférica. 

Dr. Ponce de León has also curated exhibitions and public art events. Most recently, she curated Resurgent Histories, Insurgent Futures for the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia. She received her PhD in American Studies from the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, her M.A. in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her A.B. in Literature from Harvard University.


Header photo credit: Antonio Berni, La gran tentación, 1962.


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