Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

George F. Flaherty

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

George F. Flaherty



Latin American and Latino Visual and Spatial Cultures since 1945; Film and Media Studies; Postcolonial Theory and Subaltern Studies, emphasis on Mexico and the U.S. Borderlands


Trained as an art historian, George Flaherty specializes in Latin American and Latino visual and spatial cultures since 1945.  He is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the spatial dimensions of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City and its mediation. George has held fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (24-month Chester Dale), the Social Science Research Council (IDRF), the Society of Architectural Historians (De Montêquin), and the Mexico-U.S. Fulbright Commission (Fulbright-García Robles).  A graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of California, Santa Barbara (Ph.D. 2011), he teaches courses on Mexican and Chicano art and media as well as critical theory.


ARH 341M • Contemporary Mexican Art

20205 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

Survey of visual culture beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, with a focus on key artists, exhibition spaces, and critical debates from the last thirty years in Mexico in light of international aesthetic currents and shifting political and economic conditions.

ARH 361 • Apertures: Film & Photo Mexico

20245 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

Artists, intellectuals and politicians have debated Mexico’s apertura throughout the twentieth-century, which means “opening” or “premiere” but also refers to the lens of a camera. This course explores historical (social, technological) and aesthetic linkages and affinities between filmmakers and photographers working in greater Mexico, including prominent visitors and Americans of Mexican descent. We will consider how Mexican culture is represented but also how borders between Mexico and the wider world—as well as among media—were blurred or brought into sharper focus by these exchanges.

ARH 381 • Cuba And Lat Amer Imaginatn

20280 • Spring 2017
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM ART 3.434A
(also listed as LAS 381)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in art history and consent of the graduate adviser.

LAS 327 • Contemporary Mexican Art

40286 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as ARH 341M)

Is the such a thing as “Mexican Art” in 2016, with Mexico City so firmly established as a hub in global art world? Following a brief survey of the art produced in the wake of 1968, a watershed year in Mexico as in many countries, this course examines key artists, exhibitions spaces, and critical debates of the last 30 years. We will consider the connectedness of Mexico-based artists to their colleagues abroad and to transnational aesthetics as well as country-specific contexts.

ARH 341K • Modern Art Of Mexico

20160 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 6:30PM-8:00PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

Mexican visual culture from the late nineteenth century through 1968. Emphasis on the emergence of modernist avant-gardes and popular entertainment, and their ambivalent relationship to state, church, and market. Also explores how self-consciously negotiating the tension between native and international influences, artists, critics, and curators contributes to notions of Lo Mexicano, or "Mexicanness."

ARH 381 • Image, Affect, Archive

20115 • Spring 2015
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM ART 3.434A
(also listed as LAS 381)

Affect is one of the keywords of contemporary critical thought. Scholars in the humanities now differentiate it from feeling, emotion, passion and sentiment—all corollaries in making sense of human experience. Born out of dissatisfaction with modernist as well as poststructuralist modes of analysis and informed by phenomenology, psychoanalysis and more recent insights, they seek to analyze not only ontology and aesthetics but also history, ethics and social justice, thereby breaking affect open and putting it to work in the public sphere. Affect can no longer thought to be individual, hermetic, excessive, ineffable, or exploitative. This seminar considers the following questions: How might images, still and moving, be read affectively and what are the politics of this viewership? What bodies of knowledge are archived in our corporeality and everyday that  supplement or challenge the cognitive or linguistic? How might bodily movements and potentialities write rigorous new histories? And how might art and cinema history’s admittedly ocular-centric methods intervene on the affective turn?

Open to graduate students of all humanistic disciplines, with student projects not limited to Latin American or U.S. Latino topics.

MAS 374 • Chicano Art Hist/Futures

36417 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 6:30PM-8:00PM DFA 2.204

Please check back for updates.

MAS 374 • Lat/Chicano Art: Hist & Future

36206 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM DFA 2.204

Please check back for updates.

ARH 374 • Mexican Art Since 1968

20388 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM DFA 2.204
(also listed as LAS 327)

As the recent opening of the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City and the regularity with which articles about the city’s burgeoning art scene appear in the foreign press attest—albeit from differing vantage points—interest in contemporary art in Mexico has reached critical mass. After a brief survey of visual culture produced in the aftermath of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, this course examines key artists, artworks and critical debates from last 20 years in light of international aesthetic currents and kaleidoscopic political/economic conditions, the latter including: neoliberal restructuring of the economy (NAFTA), Zapatista insurgency in Chiapas (EZLN), and the defeat of single party rule (PRI).

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