Aztec Iconography in the Modern World

Past Event: 19 June 2014

Dr Ralph Newmark
Dr Ralph Newmark
Source: La Trobe University

Dr Ralph Newmark explores the endurance of the Aztecs and their expression in contemporary imagery.

The use of Aztec imagery is flourishing in the modern world, especially within Mexico and the Mexican diaspora. The Aztecs still inspire reflections on a glorious past and generate powerful contemporary forces that instil pride and reinforce identity.

This lecture explores the visual legacy of the Aztecs in terms of the Mexican flag itself, tourism, the syncretic religious cult of Santa Muerte, and the concept of Aztlán - the legendary northern home of the Aztecs. The notion of Atzlán leads into an analysis of Aztec iconography in the Mexican diaspora particularly in that part of Mexico that was lost to the United States after the Mexican-American War of 1846-48.


Dr Ralph Newmark is a historian and well known in Melbourne for his dynamic and exciting lectures, in which he combines scholarship with fascinating presentations on Latin American popular culture. He is the current Director of the Institute of Latin American Studies [ILAS] at La Trobe University and is also Victorian Regional Representative of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia [AILASA]. He is the co-ordinator of the Institute's innovative summer and winter intensive subjects. Ralph's teaching and research reflect his interest in the links between popular culture, especially music, and political/economic history.