Dept of History of Art | Staff | Teaching staff | Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra
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Dr Mara Polgovsky Ezcurra

Lecturer in Contemporary Art

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)


I am an art historian and cultural theorist of Latin America. I joined the History of Art Department at Birkbeck in 2018, as part of the department’s interest in expanding its global focus. Previously, I held a Junior Research Fellowship at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and taught at the departments of History of Art, Spanish, and the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge.

My research focuses on contemporary Latin American Art and Intellectual History, with a particular emphasis on the politics of aesthetics and on the study of varying notions of life, presence, interactivity, and agency in artistic practice, including live, performance, ecological, cybernetic, multispecies, and posthuman art. My forthcoming publications include the monograph Touched Bodies: The Performative Turn in Latin American Art (Rutgers University Press, 2019), the essay collection Marcos Kurtycz: Corporeality Unbound (Fauna-Jumex, 2018), and the edited volume Re-Public: The New Public Art in Mexico (in preparation).

My teaching is centred on non-Western art histories and fosters a critical awareness of questions related to race, gender, colonial legacies, cultural transference, and migration. I have worked as a scriptwriter for documentary films, and have curated a number of research-led exhibitions, including, most recently, Reality Machines: An Art Exhibition on Post-Truth (CRASSH, Cambridge, 2018).

Contact details


Mailing address: Department of History of Art, School of Arts,  Birkbeck - University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD