Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra

Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra, BA (El Colegio de Mexico & Harvard University), MPhil (History, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), PhD (Latin American Cultural Studies, University of Cambridge). 


As Junior Research Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages I work closely with the MML community to organise activities that allow students to further their linguistic and critical skills, including a “Digital Culture Research Group” and a “Young Latin American Writers in Cambridge” seminar series. I also teach and supervise students reading Spanish, using the small-group format allowed by supervisions to advance the practice of in-depth reading and critical debate. I am part of the college’s contemporary dance group.
My research focuses on twentieth-century Latin American art and visual culture, focusing on the relationship between art and politics, contemporary aesthetic theory, the body in contemporary art, and, more recently, art and technoscience. Aware of the rich diversity of artistic languages across the Latin American subcontinent, I am interested in the study of synchronic developments within the region, and emphasise the importance of defining complex historical genealogies and strategies for artistic analysis that take into account moments of convergence and divergence with developments in the United States and Europe. Moreover, following the global growth of interest in art from Latin America in recent decades, I consider it crucial to advance critical perspectives to accompany this process. My approach to the study of the politics of art is rooted in an effort to make visible the social value of this practice, share this value with students and other audiences, and understand how artists respond to processes of political and technological change. I posit that research in the fields of history of art and visual culture demands engagement with a variety of disciplines, including politics, philosophy, history of science, and anthropology.
My areas of teaching span nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American literature, art, and history. As Teaching Associate at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Centre of Latin American Studies I participate in the teaching activities of the university as lecturer, supervisor, examiner and director of year abroad and final year dissertations. My main teaching specialisms are twentieth-century avant-garde art and literature in Latin America and contemporary art theory, topics that I accompany with foundational courses on the history, literature and historiography of the region. I am also guest lecturer and supervisor at the Department of History of Art at Cambridge, where I have taught courses on the history and politics of artistic display in Europe, as well as on performance art and conceptualism in Latin America. Additionally, at Masters level, I have designed several modules for the MPhil in Latin American Cultural Studies, such as one on ‘The Uses of Theory in Cultural Studies’ and one on ‘Religion in Contemporary Art’. I also teach a Research in Practice seminar on art and anthropology. Centre of Latin American Studies Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
01223 769377
  • Junior Research Fellow
  • Fabian Colenutt Research Scholar