Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gregory Smith - Chair

Second Advisor

Angelo Restivo

Third Advisor

Ted Friedman

Fourth Advisor

Kathryn Fuller-Seeley

Fifth Advisor

Emanuela Guano


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.


Included in

Communication Commons