The Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University

The series Focus on Latin American Art and Agency, directed by Cultural Agents Inc. and the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, explores innovative Latin American contributions to contemporary processes of civic leadership and other arts.

Attention to public leaders such as the former mayor of Bogotá, Antanas Mockus, and distinguished artists including Mexican Pedro Reyes and Guatemalan Darío Escobar, engages the humanities with purpose. “What would an artist do?” Mayor Mockus would ask in difficult circumstances.

The Cultural Agents series traces some answers about how art intervenes through humor, creativity, and interpretation as resources for negotiating social, political, and economic challenges. Contributions from international leading scholars, critics, and curators confirm the importance of creative cultures as agents of social change.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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1.Cover: A Singular Plurality: The Works of Dario Escobar

A Singular Plurality: The Works of Dario Escobar

Falconi, José Luis

The provocative works of Guatemalan sculptor Dario Escobar challenge us to reconsider our relation to the myriad of mass-produced objects that encroach on our daily experience. The essays in A Singular Plurality offer a critical account of how his whimsical incisiveness dismantled the rigid opposition between the cosmopolitan and the local.

2.Cover: Pedro Reyes: Ad Usum / To Be Used

Pedro Reyes: Ad Usum / To Be Used

Falconi, José Luis

Mexico-based artist, architect, and cultural agent Pedro Reyes turns existing social problems into opportunities for effecting tangible change through collective imagination. Ad Usum: To Be Used is a full-color illustrated survey of Reyes’s projects including images, interviews, and critical essays by leading scholars in diverse fields.

3.Cover: The Logic of Disorder: The Art and Writing of Abraham Cruzvillegas

The Logic of Disorder: The Art and Writing of Abraham Cruzvillegas

Greeley, Robin Adèle

The Logic of Disorder presents for the first time to the English-speaking world the writings of seminal Mexican contemporary visual artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. Each of the texts included in this volume is fully annotated and is accompanied by a number of critical studies by leading curators and scholars.

4.Cover: Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus

Cultural Agents Reloaded: The Legacy of Antanas Mockus

Tognato, Carlo

Cultural Agents Reloaded reflects on the accomplishments and failures of Antanas Mockus, twice Mayor of Bogotá. His example motivates us to sharpen our understanding of what cultural agency is in the present day by bringing into focus the challenges public humanities face when they travel South and struggle to become genuinely global.

5.Cover: Pre-Texts International

Pre-Texts International

Falconi, José Luis
Sommer, Doris

Pre-Texts is a methodology developed for education professionals to stimulate close reading and critical-thinking skills by making art based on challenging texts. Presented in both English and Spanish, this book gathers descriptions and images of dozens of different Pre-Texts activities held across the globe with diverse groups.

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Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez Awarded MacArthur Fellowships

Harvard University Press congratulates its authors Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez for being named to the 2021 class of 25 MacArthur Fellows. The prestigious no-strings-attached $625,000 awards are given to individuals “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”