As a member of the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD) at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Sean Nesselrode Moncada offers courses that focus on Latin American and Latinx art and visual culture. Art history, he proposes, requires an attention to how images proliferate and behave in the world, and how they may expand, curtail, or question the limits of what we imagine to be possible. In his courses, Sean encourages an expanded view of what constitutes artistic production and who merits inclusion in our received histories. He invites students to question the political, territorial, and conceptual boundaries of "Latin America," as they not only learn about canonical movements such as Mexican muralism and Brazilian Neo-Concretism, but also consider figures and objects of study that often fall beyond the purview of Latin American art history, from Hollywood depictions of Latinos to collective anti-authoritarian actions of resistance across the hemisphere.
At RISD, his undergraduate lectures and seminars have covered a variety of topics such as the neo-vanguardias of the 1950s–1970s, border theory in Latinx artistic production and media representation, materiality in the postwar period, and the histories of abstractions in the Americas. He serves as Graduate Program Director for RISD's Liberal Arts Master's Program in Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies, for which he offers transdisciplinary courses on research issues and global petrocultures. He is also affiliated with RISD's Liberal Arts Master's Program in Global Arts and Cultures.
Additionally, he regularly leads travel courses to Mexico as part of RISD Global's Wintersession program. Intensive, multidisciplinary immersions into the arts, cultures, and histories of Mexico, these courses allow students to gain a first-hand understanding of the material and visual production of the region. Traveling to Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, and Mérida, students visit pre-colonial archaeological sites and confront the legacies of conquest and colonization, with particular attention to how Indigenous techniques are synthesized with European, African, and Asian styles, materials, and practices.