Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
photo of James

Ph.D. from Tulane University (2006)

curriculum vitae

James Córdova

Associate Professor, Art History Pre-Columbian and Latin American Art

Associate Professor, Pre-Columbian and Latin American Art History (Ph.D. Tulane University)

My current research projects focus on intersections of materiality and politics in art, and on deviant visual and material productions in colonial Latin America. I take a critical approach to art history and emphasize cross-cultural interactions, alternative or multivalent ways of knowing and interpreting, the roles of gender in art, and power dynamics.

I received my Ph.D. from Tulane University (2006), and was a Fulbright fellow (2003-04) and Mellon Postdoctoral fellow in Latin American Art at Pomona College (2006-08) before coming to CU Boulder. I especially enjoy working with students who think critically, value complicating the ways in which we look at art and culture, are open-minded to learning about unfamiliar subject matter and ways of knowing, and value an interdisciplinary approach to studying art and related things.

Courses taught

  • Foundations in Latin American Art
  • Arts of Ancient Mexico
  • Colonial Arts of Latin America
  • Aztec Art
  • Conquest & Colonialism in Latin American Art (graduate seminar)
  • Representation & Gender in the Americas (graduate seminar)
  • Theories for Art History (graduate seminar)


The Art of Professing in Bourbon Mexico: Crowned-Nun Portraits and Reform in the Convent. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013.

Selected articles

“Drinking the Fifth Cup: Notes on the Drunken Indian Image in Colonial Mexico,” Word and Image: A Journal of Verbal and Visual Enquiry 31, 1 (2015): 1-20.

“Clad in Flowers: Indigenous Arts and Knowledge in Colonial Mexican Convents,” The Art Bulletin 93, 4 (December 2011): 449-467.

Casta Paintings and Self-Fashioning Artists in New Spain,” in At the Crossroads: The Arts of Spanish America and Early Global Trade, 1492-1850, ed. Donna Pierce and Ronald Otsuka (Denver: Denver Art Museum and Mayer Center, 2012), 128-154 [co-authored with Claire Farago].

“Aztec Vestal Virgins and the Brides of Christ: The Mixed Heritage of New Spain’s Monjas Coronadas.” Colonial Latin American Review 18, 2 (August 2009): 189-218.




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