Ella Maria Diaz, associate professor of English and Latino/a Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, won gold medals in the categories of Best Biography - English and Best Arts Book in the 23rd International Latino Book Awards for her new book “José Montoya” (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, 2020).
Her book chronicles the life and work of Montoya, an artist, poet, professor, and musician who was one of the most influential figures in the Chicano movement. Diaz examines his career, while also proposing a new method of studying U.S. Latino/a/x artists. “José Montoya” is part of the “A Ver: Revisioning Art History” series, a monograph series from UCLA’s Chicano/a Studies Research Center and examines the cultural, aesthetic and historical impact of Chicano/a, Latino/a/x, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican artists.
“I am happy that the 12th volume of this critical series, which changed the breadth of scholarship on U.S. Latinx art, is being acknowledged and that José Montoya is being honored in this way. I am happy that the book exists and his dream of it is now realized,” Diaz said.
Diaz’s research focuses on American Latino/a/x, Chicano/a/x visual cultures and literatures, critical race studies and the Latino/a/x diaspora in the United States. Her first book, “Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: Mapping a Chicano/a Art History” (UTP 2017) won the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award in 2019.