James Cordova
Associate Professor of Art History, Latin American Art (Pre-Columbian & Colonial)
Art History

Professor Córdova received his Ph.D. from Tulane University and is Associate Professor of Art History. He teaches courses in Pre-Columbian art, Colonial Latin American art, and and critical theories.

He is the author of The Art of Professing in Bourbon Mexico: Crowned-Nun Portraits in Reform in the Convent (University of Texas Press, 2014), which was awarded a Millard Meiss Publication Fund from the College Art Association and is part of the Andrew W. Mellon Latin American and Caribbean Arts and Culture Publication Initiative. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Word and Image: A Journal of Verbal and Visual Enquiry, Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Colonial Latin American Review, caa.reviews, and The New England Quarterly. He has also contributed scholarly essays to a number of edited volumes including Flower Worlds: Religion, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest (University of Arizona Press, 2021), The Significance of Small Things: Essays in Honour of Diana Fane (Ediciones El Viso and the Americas Society, 2018), At the Crossroads: The Arts of Spanish America and Early Global Trade, 1492-1850 (Denver Art Museum and Mayer Center, 2012), and Appropriation & Invention: Three Centuries of Art in Spanish America: Selections from the Denver Art Museum, ed. Jorge F. Rivas Pérez (Denver and Munich: Denver Art Museum, Mayer Center for Ancient and Latin American Art, and Hirmer Publishers). His work has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the College Art Association, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Professor Córdova’s current research examines the exchange of sacred objects and images between Indigenous and Spanish groups in the years leading up to the fall of Aztec Mexico. Additionally, it examines how conquest narratives were negotiated by artists and art patrons in select colonial Mexican religious artworks and public monuments. Another project focuses on the role that Indigenous cosmology and Christianity had in colonial Mexican floral imagery and flower works.

Courses taught

  • US Art Across Cultures
  • Foundations in Latin American Art
  • Pre-Columbian Art of Mesoamerica
  • Colonial Arts of Mexico and Peru
  • Aztec Art
  • Power and Visuality After the Conquest (graduate seminar)
  • Visualizing Gender Before and After the Conquest (graduate seminar)
  • Theories for Art History (graduate seminar)