Public Program

Zoila Mendoza Lecture: The Folkloric Arts of the Peruvian Andes

The Folkloric Arts in the Peruvian Andes: Origins and Early Developments in Cuzco

During the first half of the twentieth century, private cultural institutions (instituciones culturales) based in the city of Cuzco were devoted to the creation of spaces where regional Peruvian culture could be developed and harnessed. Witnessing a growth in tourism, international exchange, and the formation of canons that continue to influence artistic output, this period generated regional identities and proposals for a national culture based on Andean aesthetics. Dr. Zoila Mendoza’s lecture focuses on this field of creative activity in Cuzco, recognized as “folklore” in Peru and other parts of Latin America, by examining how local, national, and international interventions contributed to the production of an Andean folklore.

About the speaker:

Zoila S. Mendoza is a Peruvian anthropologist and Professor and Chair of the department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. She received her Masters and Ph. D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Mendoza is the author of Shaping Society Through Dance: Mestizo Ritual Performance in the Peruvian Andes, (University of Chicago Press, 2000) and Creating Our Own, Folklore, Performance, and Identity in Cuzco, Peru (Duke University Press, 2008). She has published widely in Spanish and English about Andean festivals, music, and dance, and ethnic racial identity in Peru.

The two books just mentioned are also published in Spanish by the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Peru. She received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2010-2011 for her research on music, dance, and pilgrimage in Cusco and she has produced a documentary (2015), a third book in Spanish and Quechua, and a series of articles about the subject. She is also the coproducer and coeditor of the film Memory Walkers (2015) financed by the Fetzer Institute which deals with the complex situation after the armed conflict in Peru (1980–2000). Among other things, at Davis, she teaches Quechua Language and Society, a series she created in 2006.

Attending the program:

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. Face coverings are required inside museum buildings. Learn more about the Menil’s COVID-19 safety protocols here. Further information regarding accessibility and parking can be found here.

Plan ahead and visit the Menil’s exhibition Enchanted: Visual Histories of the Central Andes before the program by reserving your free timed entry here.

For any questions please contact programs@menil.org.