Mapping Miguel Covarrubias across Cultures and Disciplines


In this paper, I explore the Pageant of the Pacific, a sequence of mural-maps painted by the Mexican artist and illustrator, Miguel Covarrubias, for the San Francisco International Exposition of 1939–1940. By placing these mural-maps within the larger context of cultural geography and Covarrubias’s own theories of comparative anthropology, they offer an artistic and poetic explanation of the relationships found among the cultures of the Pacific Rim, drawing connections across historical epoch and geographical region. Within Covarrubias’s own historical context, these maps provide an important visual link that crosses disciplinary boundaries, providing insight into the intellectual conversation of his era and, perhaps, providing a model for interdisciplinarity in the present age as well.


Miguel Covarrubias; Mexican Muralism; San Francisco International Exposition; Cultural Geography

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Published : 2020-12-31

RacineN. (2020). Mapping Miguel Covarrubias across Cultures and Disciplines. Review of International American Studies, 13(2), 159-183.

Nathaniel R. Racine
Texas A&M International University  United States

Nathaniel R. Racine is an assistant professor of English in the Department of Humanities at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. He holds a PhD in English from Temple University in Philadelphia and a professionally-accredited Master’s degree in Urban Planning from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. In 2018–2019 he was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar to Mexico. His recent work draws from the fields of geography and urbanism to understand the cultural exchange between the US and Mexico from the interwar period through midcentury.

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