Berkeley Study Abroad Fair - September 27 in the Pauley Ballroom

Architectural Design
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Mexico City, Mexico: Mexican Art of the 20th Century

  • Summary

    This course takes full advantage of vibrant Mexico City as a resource of world-class art to explore Mexican art, identity, and cultural production. Students will live in proximity to Frida Kahlo’s house in the Coyoacan district while learning about transnational Mexican artists, the rise of "indigenismo" in the nation-building project of post-Revolution, and post-sixties feminist and queer artists.

    Throughout this four-week program, students will have access to numerous world-class art and popular culture institutions where they will study the works of key figures in Mexican art. Participants will visit the works of Diego Rivera, Orozco, and David Siquieros, examine the work of Frida Kahlo, and learn about the rise of indigenism in the nation-building project of post-Revolution Mexico–a period when craftwork is discovered and elevated as the legacy of Indigenous Mexico. Students will read top scholarship from current authors and visit the Museo de Artes Populares and the Museo Soumaya to compare European-centered collections and the collection of national crafts which become a crucial part of Mexico’s artistic identity.  


    Dates:  June 1 – June 30, 2019
    All dates are subject to change

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: English

    Ethnic Studies 180: Mexican Art of the 20th Century

    At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    2.0 GPA or higher
    There are no prerequisites or restrictions for participation.

    Application opens February 4, 2019
    Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    Deadline to apply is March 15, 2019

  • Courses

    During the program, you will take one course for a total of six UC Berkeley units.

    Course: ES 180
    Title: Mexican Art of the 20th Century
    Instructor: Laura Elisa Pérez
    Units: 6 units

    The course will look at key figures and movements in 20th-century Mexican art in four parts: Week 1.  Crafting mexicanismo and indigenismo: Landscapes, Artesanías, and Muralism; Week 2.  Mexico’s Avante-Garde: Muralism of the 1920s-40s; Week 3. Surrealism, the Occult, & Self-Portraiture in Modern Art of the 1930s-50s; Week 3. Surrealism, the Occult, & Self-Portraiture in Modern Art of the 1930s-50s; Week 4. Mexican Art Since the 1960s: Feminism, Queer, Neo-Mexican, Performance Art, and the U.S.-Mexico Transnational. We will learn about Mexico’s major intellectual and aesthetic trends, key artists, and visit major museums in a great megalopolis. Tours will be arranged at all museums for presentations by curators with expertise in the collections or exhibitions on display. We will be housed in one of Mexico’s oldest and beautiful neighborhoods that continues to be a hub for creative and intellectual life in Mexico’s capital, Coyoacán.

    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $58.

    2019 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,514 $3,300
    Program Fee $2,065 $2,065
    Total Cost $4,579 $5,365

    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $58.


    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    2019 Estimated Expenses Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $705
    Additional Meals $300
    Books $210
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $329
    Total $1544

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.

    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per-unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $550 per unit

    The program fee includes* the following items:

    • Student housing in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City for the duration of the program and daily breakfasts.
    • On-site orientation activities, excursions, etc.
    • Museum Admission fees.
    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest speakers, etc.
    • The initial non-refundable deposit of $400, which is due at the time of application and is applied to the program fee

    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals

  • Timeline
    Application opens February 4, 2019
    Application closes March 15, 2019
    Applicants notified of selection March 22, 2019
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 5, 2019
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    First day of program June 1, 2019
    Last day of program† June 30, 2019

    * These events take place on the UC Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students are expected to check into program housing on June 1, 2019, and will be expected to check out of program housing on June 30, 2019. Students who arrive in-country early or depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their own accommodations outside of the program dates.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Laura Elisa Pérez
    Program Director

    Laura Elisa Pérez is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is also a core faculty member of the doctoral program in Performance Studies and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Women’s Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies.  She is also Coordinator of the Chicana/o Studies Program. Pérez received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and a BA/MA Joint Degree from The University of Chicago. Pérez curated UC Berkeley’s first Latina/o Performance Art series, co-curated Chicana Badgirls: Las Hociconas in 2009, at 516 Arts Gallery in Albuquerque, NM, and curated Labor+a(r)t+orio: Bay Area Latina@ Arts Now at the Richmond Arts Center, CA in 2011.  Pérez is the author of Chicana Art: The Politics of Spiritual and Aesthetic Altarities (Duke University Press, 2007), a work in which she theorized decolonial aesthetics and decolonial spiritualities at work in the art of feminist and queer writers, visual and performance artists.  Her new book manuscript, “Eros Ideologies:  Writings on Art, Spirituality, and the Decolonial” will be published by Duke University Press in 2018.  She is co-editing with Dr. Ann Marie Leimer an anthology on the work of multi-media artist Consuelo Jiménez Underwood.  She has taught Latin American and U.S. Latinx literature, visual, and performance art since her graduate school days and argues throughout her work that the various art forms are different ways of thinking, and indeed of being human.

    Pérez has traveled to Mexico and Mexico City on many occasions, most recently the summer of 2017, and visited most of the museums on the course syllabus itinerary as well as lodged in Coyoacán, the district she proposes to house UCB students and hold courses as it is an area rich in Modern Mexican art history, and houses the Frida Kahlo Museum.