Mary Thomas

“Hiking in the City: Examining Disruptive Performances of Tourist Identities in Sites of Distracted Consumption in L.A.”

While Michel de Certeau’s writings on walking in the city are frequently considered a  primary reference for interrogating questions of mobility in cities, it is difficult to ignore  the significance of the automobile in remaking urban spaces and how they are used… Read more

Mary Thomas is a Ph.D. student in the Visual Studies Graduate Program at UC Santa Cruz.  Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she received her B.A. in Art History from Cornell University.  Her previous research examined spatial politics in museum exhibitions of Chicano art and mural environments and focused on the functions of graffiti aesthetics, murals, and low-riders in the creation of alternative narratives in San Diego.  At present, her research examines how the centrality of driving in Southern California has created a distinct set of looking practices that have in turn transformed how spaces are constructed, experienced, and used. Specifically, her dissertation will seek to consider the disruptive responses to entrenched patterns of distracted visual consumption that are mounted through forms of visual culture which promote unorthodox uses of urban space.

Mary has been awarded with the “Karlshochschule Mobilities Grant“.