The objective of this interdisciplinary project is to introduce innovative methods of integrating archaeological research with art history, ethnohistory, and ethnography, in an intensive Travel Study program spanning from bustling Mexico City to the scenic valleys and highlands of Oaxaca and Puebla. Through daily traveling and hiking, students will learn about the millennial indigenous cultures, the impact of European colonialism, and the contemporary lifestyles and issues, by the active exploration of archaeological and historical sites, museum collections, and indigenous communities. These excursions will be integrated with classroom courses and on-site lectures delivered by experts on ethnohistorical documents, archaeological field and lab methods, and ethnographic research. Note that this Travel Study program does not involve active participation in an archaeological dig.
Dr. John M. D. Pohl, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Project Director) is an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Art History, a member of the Associated Faculty in the Archaeology Program, and a Research Associate at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. He has directed several archaeological projects in Oaxaca, developed numerous museum exhibits, and has published extensively on the indigenous confederacies of Southern Mexico and their pictographic writing systems as portrayed in the codices. For more information on Dr. Pohl, visit his website by clicking here.
Mr. Danny Zborover (email@example.com) (Co-Director) is a PhD candidate at the Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada; currently he is a visiting scholar at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He participated in several archaeological projects in Mexico, and is currently directing the Chontalpa Historical Archaeology Project in southern Oaxaca. For more information on Mr. Zborover, visit his website by clicking here.
Ms. Veronica Pacheco (Teaching Assistant) is a PhD candidate at the Department of Ethnomusicology, UCLA; currently she is a visiting fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is focusing her research on music and religious rituals among the Nahuas of Veracruz, and participated in other ethnographic projects in Oaxaca and elsewhere in Mexico.
Tuition & Program Fee:
Total Field School Costs:
All fees are payable to the Institute for Field Research. Eight semester credit units are provided through Connecticut College. Program fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance.
Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.
Please inquire about Financial Aid at your home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.
Expenses NOT Covered:
-Airfare to/from the pre-designated meeting place for the field school.
-Food on weekends.
-Sightseeing outside formal field school excursions as outlined on the syllabus.
Students will be staying in hotels in Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca City, and in local inns while traveling to the Mixteca. All students will be sharing a room based on room size and availability.
Central Mexican food is a wonderful blend of European and indigenous cuisines, and dining there is a cultural experience in itself. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this field school. Vegetarians may attend but will find options fairly limited. Monday through Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided by the program. Students are responsible for their weekend meals.
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly.
Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City (MEX). Please plan to arrive to Mexico City on June 23, preferably between 8 am and 6 pm. All students will meet with the project personnel at the airport and leave together to the designated hotel. Orientation tour and class will begin on June 24 at 9am.
U.S. Citizens must carry a valid passport for at least six months to enter Mexico. Tourist permit cards will be issued to you at the port of entry, normally for 180 days. Upon arrival, make sure to state your departing date out of Mexico to the immigration officer. For non-U.S. nationalities we recommend checking your Visa requirement directly with your nearest Consulate General of Mexico. You are responsible for making your respective visa arrangements ahead of time, and carrying the right documentation when traveling to Mexico.
For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to Mexico, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website. Click here to be directed to the CDC website.
"After studying pre-Columbian history and art history in classrooms throughout my first three years in college, I wanted to explore the material first-hand. The travel-study in Oaxaca provided a unique and valuable learning experience through its interdisciplinary approach of utilizing archaeological, anthropological, and art historical research methods in disseminating the history of Oaxaca and its inhabitants. It also allowed me to more fully understand the material I had learned in previous classes back home. Our daily field trips were fun and exciting and the professors shared their expertise by providing in-depth explanations of the sites we visited. For me, the most intriguing aspect of the program was listening to Dr. Pohl, the foremost expert in his field, and learning from him about future research opportunities which I hope to explore for myself. Studying in the beautiful and vibrant city of Oaxaca under such a distinguished teaching staff is a once-in-a-lifetime experience I am so glad I took, and one which I would recommend to anybody.”
-Caleb Zuniga, Pomona College
"Traveling through Mexico was a perfect addition to my study of anthropology. This field school is a tremendous opportunity to combine historic, ethnographic, and archaeological interests in one whirl-wind trip. Though I wish it could last longer, it was a rare and exciting opportunity to study Oaxaca and the Mixteca and to make real the little known world of the codices."
-Vanessa Wagner, UCLA
"My experience in Mexico was absolutely phenomenal. Before the trip, I was honestly not aware of the great richness and diversity of culture that existed just south of me. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to open my eyes to such new ways of life, and new ways of seeing the world. I learned so much from simple observation and immersion in a different culture. Though my knowledge of Spanish was extremely limited, I still had fun interacting with the local people and sharpened my knowledge of the language. I also loved how the program gave me some practical, hands-on experience on writing ethnographies in another country. The professor and the TAs were always there to answer my concerns, and were very helpful in providing an enriching, engaging experience. I made some amazing friends and loved learning about Mexico as a student group. There is not enough space to write about all of the absolutely wonderful things which happened on this trip; the only way to understand the beauty of Mexico’s history and culture is to experience it yourself!"
-Nanami Sunaga, UCLA
"I had high expectations for this trip and they were exceeded. Not only have I learned how to begin to decipher Mesoamerican codices and deepened my background in the history and anthropology of the area, but I have gained experiences like swimming in a waterfall and crawling through an ancient Mixtec tunnel that I will never forget. This trip was full of adventure as well as practical learning that I can take back and use as a graduate student and as a TA."
-JoAnna Wall, History, UCLA