Main content start

Art and Culture on the US-Mexico Border: 2,000 Miles of Imagination that Unite and Divide Us

Fri May 18th 2018, 2:00 - 5:00pm
Event Sponsor
ArtsWest (Bill Lane Center for the American West), American Studies Program, Stanford Humanities Center, and the Department of Music
Stanford Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street
Stanford, CA 94305
Danza de la Tierra (2009), by Judith F. Baca, Latino Cultural Center, Dallas, TX. Used by Permission.




  • Ana Raquel Minian, Assistant Professor of History, Stanford University (moderator)
  • Enrique Chagoya, Professor of Art & Art History, Stanford University
  • Anna Indych-Lopez, Associate Professor of Art History, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Alejandro L. Madrid, Professor of Music, Cornell University
  • Chon A. Noriega, Professor of Film, UCLA


The focus of the symposium is to examine how art and music are shaping social, cultural, and political identity in the US-Mexico border region. Topics covered will be painting, murals, street art, music, and Latino cinema as the chief art forms that define border culture and expression. In addition, the program will explore the recent “Pacific Standard Time” (PST) art exhibitions, funded by the Getty Foundation, as the largest collaborative effort ever mounted by arts institutions on the Southwestern border about Latino art, history and heritage.

Professor Chagoya will speak about his socio-political paintings that depict matters of war, border and immigration, religious and cultural differences, global politics, and the plight of migrants as meso-american symbols of invasion, suffering, and the blurring of borders.

Professor Indych-López will speak on her recently released scholarly monograph on Chicana public artist and muralist Judith F. Baca, as well as other Latina/o art production that contends with border culture, transnational diversity, immigration and dislocation, historical ruptures, and the visual construction of racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities.

Professor Madrid will speak about the trans-border musical traditions that blend classical, popular, and folk music nationalism that transcends place, history, geography, politics, and the intersection of globalization, ethnic identity and border culture.

Professor Noriega will speak about Chicano cinema as a lens for understanding media and culture, sociology and mass communications, and ethnicity and gender that merge art with populist politics in film. He will also discuss his leading role in curating LACMA’s recent groundbreaking art exhibition, Home- So Different, So Appealing (2017-18), that showed over 100 works exploring the themes of immigration and political repression, dislocation and diaspora, and personal memory and utopian ideals found in Latino art.

The symposium is also the culmination of Borderlands Now, a year-long series of events sponsored by the American Studies Program inspired by the 30th anniversary of the publication of Gloria Anzaldúa’s book Borderlands/La Frontera and the range of issues her work engages.


Recommended Readings

ArtsWest has collected an annotated list of readings on visual arts, music, and performance related to the borderlands. The list was compiled by Alexandra (Mac) Taylor.


Register to Attend


Supported by

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management logo