Fall 2015

Mexican Material and Visual Culture

Listed in: History, as HIST-466


Rick A. Lopez (Section 01)


[LA]  We surround ourselves with stuff. These items that we create, use, display, and dwell in contain evidence about our lives. This course examines the historical role of material, architectural and visual objects in the creation of Mexico’s political and social order from the ancient Aztecs and Maya through today. Students will analyze material and visual evidence to learn about ethnic and gender relations, economic transformations, structures of rule, the experience of inequality, and the continual reconstruction of historical memory. Materials we will study include preconquest illuminated manuscripts, sculptures and temples; Spanish colonial paintings, architecture, ritual items, arts and crafts, maps, books, and botanical drawings; and modern sculpture, architecture, urban planning, maps, photographs, handicrafts, clothing, magazines, and even beauty contests. We will draw upon the rich collection of Mexican art in the Mead Art Museum, as well as items available in area museums and in digital archives. We will supplement our study of material culture with secondary texts and primary sources. Knowledge of Spanish and previous experience with Latin American history would be helpful, but are neither required nor expected. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students; preference given to juniors and seniors majoring in history or in art history.  Fall semester.  Professor López.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to juniors and seniors majoring in history or art history.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015