Photo of Ledezma, Deanna

Deanna Ledezma

PhD Candidate


Deanna Ledezma studies the history and theory of photography and the material culture of memory in the United States. Spanning the late 1800s to the 1980s, her dissertation The Fecundity of Family Photography examines the ubiquitous practice of displaying family photographs in the homes of Mexican- and Anglo-Americans. Analyzing photographs-of-photographs made by a diverse set of practitioners, including the Middleton family of Madison, Wisconsin, Chicano photographer Louis Carlos Bernal, and visual anthropologist John Collier, Jr., her dissertation demonstrates how, in the process of being photographed, the sociopolitical work of private family photographs is made legible. Deanna Ledezma has presented her scholarship at conferences organized by the College Art Association, the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, and the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.


During her graduate studies, she has been awarded the Santa Fe Art Institute Truth and Reconciliation Thematic Residency, the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR)-Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship, the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship, and the Chancellor’s Graduate Research Award. She has also served as the Graduate Academic Advisor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at UIC. Her publications include Corona: Shadows of the Loved (Memphis, Tennessee: Walls Divide Press, 2018) and “Arrangements,” a creative non-fiction essay in Imperceptibly and Slowly Opening: A Group Exhibition about Plants (Chicago, Illinois: Green Lantern Press, 2016).


Master of Arts in Art History, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012 Master’s Thesis: “This Memento Strangely Fair: Hairwork Jewelry in America”

Bachelor of Arts in Art, Emphasis in Art History, Texas State University, 2010

Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in Media Studies, Texas State University, 2009