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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Deborah Caplow
BIS 351
Bothell Campus

Topics in American Culture

Explores a particular topic in American culture that highlights the methodological tools needed to integrate the interpretation of cultural texts, including literature, film, music, and art, with their historical contexts.

Class description

Fall 2013 Topics in American Culture: Mexican Art and Culture This course will cover Mexican art, history and politics, from the time of the Aztecs and Mayas and the Conquest to the present, with emphasis on the twentieth century. We will learn about ancient Mexico, colonial architecture, mural and easel painting, printmaking, photography and folk art. concentrating on issues of style and placing Mexican art its cultural, political and historical contexts.

Student learning goals

Understand the historical and cultural background of Mexico from Pre-Conquest times up to the present.

Gain a knowledge of the political and historical conditions that contribute to the development of a modern Mexican art and culture.

Be able to analyze Mexican art in terms of its political and cultural contexts, to become familiar with art forms such as prints and photography and be able to place them into the context of more dominant forms such as mural and easel painting.

Gain an understanding of the iconography of the Mexican mural movement,the Mexican Revolution and other historical imagery of the twentieth century, by studying the Mexican Mural Movement and major artists associated with it.

Gain an understanding of the psychological symbolism and complex, culturally coded subject matter of Surrealist-inspired painters like Frida Kahlo who focused on the personal and the private aspects of human experience.

Students will have the opportunity to make a creative work of art in response to the art studied during the quarter.

General method of instruction

Classes will be a combination of lecture, discussion and collaborative group work.

Recommended preparation

Survey of art history recommended. Strong interest in Mexican history, art and culture essential. Knowledge of Spanish helpful.

Class assignments and grading

There will be short writing assignments, a research-based art project and paper and quizzes. The required readings will be Art in Latin America by Dawn Ades and ereserve articles.

Grading will be based on writing assignments, quizzes, and class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Deborah Caplow
Date: 05/26/2013