As a member of the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD) at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Sean Nesselrode Moncada offers courses on Latin American and Latinx art and visual culture. In his courses, Sean encourages a broad 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 objects of study that often fall beyond the purview of Latin American art history, from Hollywood depictions of Latinxs to collective anti-authoritarian actions of resistance.
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 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 Master's Program Global Arts and Cultures.
In his courses, Sean Nesselrode Moncada regularly assigns students public-facing projects that move art historical research beyond the written form. He is a firm believer in the power of arts education to benefit the public, and in the social benefit of rigorous, innovative student research. Examples of student work include the virtual exhibition Homeland and the Threshold Between, as well as the podcast Into the Aura and the educational web series untitled (Formas).
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.