Peter C. Marzio Award


The ICAA is pleased to issue a call for participation for the 2024 edition of the Peter C. Marzio Award for Outstanding Research in Latin American and Latino Art. Named for the late, longtime director of the MFAH, who oversaw the establishment of the ICAA in 2001, the award recognizes new scholarship in the field of modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art.

A prize of $2,500 is granted to a graduate student, and $1,000 to an undergraduate student, who each produce outstanding academic papers based on the primary source materials available from the digital archive Documents of Latin American and Latino Art and its companion book series, Critical Documents of 20th‐Century Latin American and Latino Art. The papers are reviewed by an award committee composed of faculty members in the ICAA network of scholars. The two selected papers—one graduate and one undergraduate-level paper—are eligible to be published in the digital Working Papers series.

The award is generously underwritten by The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology, Houston, a private nonprofit organization, supporting the creative process of contemporary artists and scholars, who integrate advanced and relevant social, anthropological or cultural research in their work.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2024. Award winners will be announced in fall 2024.


Any graduate or upper-level undergraduate student enrolled in a degree program at the time of application, in the U.S. or abroad, is eligible to submit a paper for consideration for the Peter C. Marzio Award. The paper must be substantially based on the primary and critical materials available through the Documents Project digital archive, accessed through this website and companion book series, Critical Documents of 20th Century Latino American and Latino Art. Papers may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.  Authors are required to utilize a minimum of 5 sources (for graduate essays) and 2 sources (for undergraduate essays) in the digital archive and should engage with materials in a substantive way (e.g. in what ways are the cited archival sources germane to the argument or methodology), rather than merely cite them. Please include a list of citations from the digital archive in the application form. 

Submissions must not have been previously published, nor should they be sent for consideration to other publications until the PCM Award winners have been announced. Papers written more than two years prior to submission are not eligible for consideration.

We strongly encourage students who are intending to submit papers to have their submissions proofread by their academic advisor and at least one other editor who is proficient in the language in which their papers were written. A brief Letter of Support (included in the application form) must be completed by the academic advisor stating they have reviewed the essay, confirm that it has not or will not be published elsewhere, and confirm that the student is in good standing in an academic program. 

Please direct questions to


Graduate students should submit a paper between 15 and 20 pages in length, excluding cover page, bibliography and appendices. Graduate papers should reference a minimum of 5 sources in the digital archive.

Undergraduate students should submit a paper between 7-10 pages in length, excluding cover page, bibliography and appendices. For the undergraduate category, students have the option of submitting either: 

  1. An excerpt of a senior thesis project that makes use of a minimum of two sources in the digital archive.

  2. A paper that pairs a minimum of two documents from the digital archive with 1-2 objects in the MFAH collections of Latin American and Latinx art. Students should consider: how does a document inform or complicate your understanding of the selected object(s)? 

The application form, faculty letter of support (sent by advisor/professor), and essay materials should be submitted to


  • Quality of writing: clarity of argumentation, organization, carefully revised and polished final draft

  • Original use of ICAA documents: documents are used substantively and as objects of analysis, rather than merely citation

  • Contribution to the field (graduate only)


  • Authors should follow the Chicago Manual of Style for all formatting, including footnotes and bibliography.

  • Papers should be double‐spaced; Times New Roman Font, point size 12; should allow for one‐inch margins; and should contain endnotes rather than footnotes.

  • All images should be in JPG format and must include captions. Award winners are responsible for procuring copyright permissions for illustrations. The ICAA may facilitate reproduction requests in certain instances. 

  • In addition, the ICAA Record ID must be provided for all documents accessed through the Documents Project’s digital archive.


Peter C. Marzio headed the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from 1982 until his death in 2010. As director, he led the Museum through three decades of unprecedented growth, including, in 2001, the establishment of the Latin American Art Department and its research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). Both divisions, headed by Mari Carmen Ramírez, are today leaders in the field of 20th- and 21st-century Latin American and Latinx art. Over the past decade, the department has built a renowned collection, organized critically acclaimed exhibitions, and produced award-winning publications. In keeping with Peter Marzio’s abiding commitment to research and scholarship, the centerpiece of the ICAA’s initiatives has been the development of Documents of Latin American and Latino Art project. Dr. Marzio envisioned the archive as a catalyst for the future of the field, one that would inspire new generations of scholars worldwide.