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Creating Lo Típico Pátzcuaro in 1930s Mexico

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:15pm - 1:30pm

Jennifer Jolly is Associate Professor of Art History and Co-coordinator of Latin American Studies at Ithaca College, where she teaches courses on Pre-Columbian and Latin American Art.  Her research focuses on modern Mexican art, and she has published numerous essays on the murals of David Alfaro Siqueiros.  Her research interest include the early 20th century art of the Left, art and technology, and art and tourism.  Her research has been funded by multiple Fulbright García-Robles grants, and she was awarded a 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities grant for her book-in-progress on art and tourism in Mexico.

Professor Jolly is currently working on a book project entitled Creating Pátzcuaro: Art, Tourism, and Nation Building in Lázaro Cárdenas' Mexico.  Here, she examines Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas' artistic and cultural patronages in 1930s Pátzcuaro, a small city on a lake in Michoacán, where he built his estate.  The book argues that Cárdenas, working with local and national actors and building on generations of work by traveler artists int he reigon, used state and federal authority and funds to transform Pátzcuaro into an idealized, alternative center for Mexico.  The book considers the changing images of Pátzcuaro and its environs - in postcards, murals, paintings, monuments, films, texts - and their dynamic relationship with Pátzcuaro's built environment and landscape in order to understand how "seeing like a tourist" - for visitors and locals alike - had becoma a technology of nation building.

This Particular talk focuses on the recreation of the city of Pátzcuaro as a historical monument and tourist destination.  Here, Jolly argues that the creation of lo típico, or "typical," Pátzcuaro - a concept implying the conservative presentation of the old city - was in fact the creation of modern Pátzcuaro, as it served as a transformation: the city markets and its religious structures.  Efforts to modernize the city markets and their picturesque market women, both central to the growing tourist economy in the region.  Meanwhile, in this period following the Cristeros' violent rebellion against state efforts to close churches and curtail religios church aesthetics, but not function, was hisghly contentious.  However in this fraught climate, lo típico also provided the visual and verbal rhetoric for a range of citizen agency, as lcoals learned to navigate state and muniocipal attempts to control and regulate the spaces of everyday life. 

Uris Hall, Room 202
Latin American Studies Program at Cornell, Latino Studies Program at Cornell,Committee on U.S. - Latin American Relations, Latin American Studies at Ithaca College
Contact Name: 
Rebecca Snyder
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cornell lasp