Oaxaca and Oaxacalifornia: Food, Culture, Art and Migration (SPAN 396)

*Undergraduate applicants only, graduate students are not eligible*



Program Information

Since Los Angeles is home to the largest Oaxacan community outside of Oaxaca City (an estimated 80,000), the course will begin with a week in Los Angeles introducing students to Oaxacan culture and cuisine through a guest speaker and a visit to a local Oaxacan restaurant, etc. Next, we travel to Mexico City where we will focus our visit on indigenous cultures by visiting the archeological sites of the pyramids of Teotihuacan, the Templo Mayor, and learning about the early agriculture of the chinampas of Xochimilco. Next, we will take a short flight to Oaxaca where we will spend the next two and a half weeks exploring the city, visiting archeological sites, hiking in the mountains, and swimming in waterfalls. We will meet with women from multiple weaving cooperatives, ceramicists and even make our own alebrijes (carved wooden animals as seen in the movie Coco). We will finish the program with group ethnographic research projects on a variety of topics.

Contact Information

Faculty Director: Sarah Portnoy

Email: portnoy@usc.edu