Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2020

  • Topics in Chicano Studies – “Spirituality and Resistance: Day of the Dead Art Practice and Culture”

    CHICANO 180 002 | CCN: 21324

    Jesus Barraza, MA / MFA

    TH 4:00 - 6:59 pm 140 Barrows

    4 Units

    The colonial invasion of the Americas was responsible for fostering a close relationship between the role of spirituality and a culture of resistance in indigenous communities. In the 1970s Chicana/o communities used art as a strategy of recovering Mexican cultural traditions to create sacred spaces rooted in this opposition to colonialism and as a strategy to understand the oppression they faced. This course will explore the politics that have driven the conceptual formation of altar-making as new genre public art and performance, the primary focus will be on Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) as a practice of Xicanx & Latinx Art and Culture in the Bay Area over the last 4 decades. We will discuss the many aspects of Día de los Muertos, from its historical Indigenous origins to the Mexican modernist interpretations and these influences on the contemporary Xicanx Indigenous re-contextualization as a cultural and spiritual act of resistance to assimilation and cultural dislocation. The course begins with an art historical perspective but is designed as an art practice course that introduces students to concepts, politics and the practice of making Altars/Ofrendas for Day of the Dead through direct engagement in the Raza arts community in the Bay Area.