Call for Papers: 2019 Conference on Mexican Muralists: Their Art, Their Lives, and Their Times

Professor Roberto Cantú is the editor of five books with Cambridge Scholars Publishing, An Insatiable Dialectic: Essays on Critique, Modernity, and Humanism (2013), The Willow and the Spiral: Essays on Octavio Paz and the Poetic Imagination(2014), The Reptant Eagle: Essays on Carlos Fuentes and the Art of the Novel(2015), Equestrian Rebels: Critical Perspectives on Mariano Azuela and the Novel of the Mexican Revolution (2016), and most recently Border Folk Balladeers: Critical Studies on Américo Paredes (2018).

We are delighted to share news that Roberto is accepting papers for a new conference on Mexican Muralists. Remembered as the iconic los tres grandes in Mexico’s pictorial movement that surged after the 1910 Revolution, José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), Diego Rivera (1886-1957), and David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) were in fact artists with an international vision who periodically visited, or lived for long periods of time, in France, Italy, Spain, the former U.S.S.R, and the United States. It was in major U.S. cities–Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and, among others, San Francisco–where all three undertook mural projects whose artistic importance continues to receive scholarly attention to this day, with recent comprehensive studies superbly illustrated in Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950, ed. Renato González Mello, et al. (2016). The “three great ones” are conventionally remembered, however, as the expression of Mexico’s post-revolutionary nationalism, and as artists whose murals achieved their own moments of public acclaim, monumental scale, and–after 1940–an alleged artistic and ideological obsolescence in Mexico as well as abroad due to the association of muralist art with socialist realism. The historical necessity of such views can be explained in light of the Cold War, the growing fears of communist “meddling” in the internal politics of Mexico and the United States, and the ensuing politicization of the arts (“socialist realism” versus modernism). It was in this belligerent historical context that Mexican muralists lived, dreamed, and painted the western democratic and socialist utopias according to very personal and contrasting views, flawed at times by the selfsame contradictions that defined the tensions and political aspirations of the twentieth century.

For the full Call for Papers, please click here. The deadline for a 250-word abstract is January 14, 2019. The submitted abstracts can be in Spanish or in English. Submissions will be peer-reviewed and their acceptance or rejection will be communicated by e-mail on or before January 16. Send abstracts to rcantu@exchange.calstatela.edu. The proceedings of the conference will be considered by Cambridge Scholars for publication under Roberto’s editorship. 

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