MAGSA logo

The Mesoamerican Graduate Student Association (MaGSA)


MaGSA (just say it like it’s spelled) is the graduate student arm of the Mesoamerica Center. We are an interdisciplinary group of students, with representatives from Latin American Studies, Art History, Anthropology, Linguistics, Geography, Sociology, History, Architecture, and more. Rather than belonging to a single department at the University of Texas at Austin, MaGSA belongs to any and all UT departments that have students or faculty interested in and engaged with topics relevant to Mesoamerica.

If you are a new graduate student with an interest in Mesoamerica, please contact us (see the links below), or stop by the Mesoamerica Center in the Art Building (see MAP). There is a community of your fellows waiting to welcome you into the fold. We can’t wait to hear about you and your research!

If you are an undergraduate, please contact the Undergraduate Student Organization for Mesoamerican Studies (USOMAS link), our “little sister” organization for undergraduates interested in any and all things Mesoamerican.


The mission of MaGSA is to promote a sense of community among Mesoamerican scholars at the University of Texas at Austin, creating a link across departments that will benefit students and faculty both professionally and socially.

We aim to meet these objectives by: 1) fostering a sense of collegiality among scholars both within UT and beyond, 2) enabling and improving cross-departmental communication and collaboration, 3) increasing the participation of members in classes and activities outside of members’ home departments, 4) providing professional development opportunities for both students and faculty at UT, 5) informing members of the resources available to them both at UT and at nearby universities, and 6) introducing members to exceptional scholars in UT and in the broader Texas area in order to expose them to fields, subjects, and approaches outside of their immediate area.


Biweekly happy hours and fall and spring semester barbecues give MaGSA members plenty of opportunities to get together and talk shop, discuss graduate life, and get input from fellow scholars on current research and future plans. We also organize events that help our members with both professional development and networking, including funding poster sessions at the University of Texas Maya Meetings, holding brown bag lunches to help our members practice their public speaking, and hosting the Distinguished Speaker Series, which highlights exceptional professors within UT and from the greater Texas area. We are here to serve our graduate student body, so input and suggestions for new events and projects are always welcome.


The MaGSA logo represents the World Tree, a pan-Mesoamerican symbol that connects the three levels of the universe (underworld, earth, and sky). Just as the World Tree serves as the connective tissue that holds the cosmos together in Mesoamerican belief, MaGSA serves to bring together the many departments at UT that deal with research pertaining to Mesoamerica. In this way, diverse areas of study are joined, encouraging a collegial spirit, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and creating a vibrant and dynamic environment for graduate life.