Dia de Muertos: A Weeklong Celebration of Art, Community and Memory

The University of San Diego will hold a variety of events in honor of “Dia de Muertos” from October 28 to November 1. This weeklong event will explain the different aspects of this cultural celebration ranging from artistic creation and philosophical meaning of the celebration to journalism and cultural criticism.

Guests from Mexico and visiting professors will speak on how the celebration blends Latin American indigenous practices with the Catholic tradition, as well as how the celebration is used as a communication device for socio-cultural expression and political criticism. 

The week starts with the opening of an art exhibition, Political SkeletonsThe Art and the Afterlife of Jose Guadalupe Posada, who was a Mexican political artist famous for using skulls, bones, and calaveras to convey cultural and political critiques. The exhibition runs Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. through Dec. 13 in the Humanities Center in Room 200 of Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall and is free and open to the public.  

Two ofrendas, or altars, are also on display, depicting the traditional elements and symbols from cultures in Latin America. These altars were built by students under the guidance of Associate Professor of Communication Studies Antonieta Mercado, who has overseen this celebration for the past eight years. “I wanted students also to know where the images they are seeing in Hollywood movies come from. The families who had a dream and suddenly they created this art, they come from a place, and they come from a culture and an imagination, and it’s important.” 

All events will be held at the Humanities Center located within Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall unless otherwise noted. For more information go to www.sandiego.edu/cas/humanities-center/events

Artistic Expression and the Materiality of Death 

Monday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Death as Social Criticism and Journalism 

Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.

Regina Marchi, author of "Day of the Dead in the USA" will participate. 

Honoring the Ancestors: Conceptions of Death Among Native Americans in San Diego 

Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m.

The Philosophical Meaning of Death in the Civilizations of the Anahuac 

Thursday, Oct. 31 at noon

Natalia Toledo, Zapotec Poetry Reading 

Friday, Nov. 1 at noon in the Student Life Pavilion Gallery 


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Lissette Martinez
(619) 260-4659