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School of Visual Art and Design

  • Adriana Zavala Lecture Graphic

Adriana Zavala

Spring 2022 Visiting Scholar

Adriana Zavala, Ph.D., is an art historian who specializes in modern Mexican and contemporary US Latinx art.  Dr. Zavala currently serves as Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University.  She is founding co-director of the US Latinx Art Forum, a 501c3 dedicated to the art and art history of the US Latinx community. Her first book Becoming Modern, Becoming Tradition: Women, Gender, and Representation in Mexican Art, a feminist study of Mexican visual art, won the Arvey Prize from the Association of Latin American Art. Her current work includes a co-authored book about 20th-century Mexican intellectuals and visual artists who grappled with Mexico City’s Aztec foundations to visualize a modern city informed by colonial maps, manuscripts and archaeological studies. 

Class Lecture

February 24, 1:15 - 2:30 PM in McMaster 214 (room capacity is 100; approximately 50 spots are open to visitors)

Professor Zavala will visit Dr. Peter Chametkzy's Art History class "Twentieth Century Art: Art and Justice in the 20th Century." Her lecture will focus on Latinx Art, History, and Institutions. Attendees will be introduced to some of Zavala's favorite contemporary artists and explore their cultural background and art, while also discussing Latinx art’s cultural and political specificity and its flux in history and in relation to other art historical categories like “American” art or “Latin American” art, as well as more specific group identities like Chicana/o/x, Diasporican, Cuban-American, etc.

Public Lecture and Reception

"Of Bodies and Borders"
February 24, 4:30 - 5:45 PM, McKissick Museum Auditorium

This lecture examines works by Latin American-descended visual artists living in the United States, that is to say Latinx artists, whose lives have been marked by and whose works explore the violence of colonialism, empire, and the ongoing politicization of borders. Through a reading of art works by Adriana Corral, Teresita Fernández, Guadalupe Maravilla, Carlos Martiel, Sandy Rodriguez, and Juan Sánchez, Zavala will explorehow racialization as a violent form of social differentiation cannot be separated from the critical study of geopolitical power. As a scholar of both Mexican and U.S. Latinx art and visual culture, she will address the necessity of intersectional scholarship and praxis, and the importance of generosity, care, and witnessing in these troubled times.

*Note: because of the topic of this lecture, some of the works presented can be challenging
for some audiences.

Coordinator: Peter Chametzky

Professor Zavala's visit is part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. For further information on Phi Beta Kappa, visit and

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.