Ph.D., Department of Art History, Binghamton University (SUNY), 2007
M.A., Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2000
B.A., Department of Art History, College of Charleston, SC, 1996
My research focuses on Early Modern Art and Architecture in Latin America and Europe, with emphases on the relationships between the architecture and the urban form, maps and urban environments, and heraldic imagery and legislative materials. I am particularly interested in how these various interrelationships relate to the formation of identities, whether state, individual, gendered, or indigenous. I consider these formations by analyzing the artistic negotiations that occurred in response to the foreign colonial encounters and domestic uncertainties that coincided with the rise of the Spanish imperial state during which times Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture continuously evolved. My teaching reflects my research interest as my courses analyze the visual cultures of pre-Columbian Americas and Viceregal Hispanic America along side those Early Modern Europe.
Currently I have several projects in progress including an examination of the engagement between Indigenous and Spanish cultures. Among them is my book project that examines the imagery of the Casa de Montejo (Mérida, Yucatán) and its reception in colonial Yucatán. My next book project, explores the formation of the urban spaces of colonial Mérida as it evolved from the abandoned Maya ceremonial center of Tihó. Specifically, I am concerned with developing an appreciation of the sixteenth-century spaces of Mérida-Tihó and how individuals (whether Spanish, Maya or African) operated within the city’s hybrid form.
Additionally, I have several articles under review that explore the significance of artistic works produced by the colonial Maya. Through textual and visual analyses of the artworks, drawings, maps, and other artistic objects in relationship to the various books of the chilam balam and other colonial Maya and Spanish Yucatecan texts, I consider how the Maya appropriated Hispanic art forms to complement existing Maya artistic traditions.
Faculty Research Develop Fund Research Grant (2016), Maya Nobility and Hispanic Urbanism in Sixteenth-Century Yucat;n.
Faculty of Arts and Humanities Deans’ Travel-Research Fund, UWO (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)
Articles and Chapters in Books
“Representing Tihó-Mérida in Colonial Yucatán: Maya and Spanish Considerations of a Colonial Capital.” South Central Review 32, no. 2 (Summer 2015): 21-47
“The Títulos de Ebtún, Yucatan, Mexico: Mapping Maya Communal Identity in a Colonial Spanish Notarial Context.” Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography 67, no. 2 (2015): 179-199
“Contested Ideologies of Space in Hispanic American Cartographic Practices: From the Abstract to the Real in Spanish and Indigenous Maps of Yucatán.” RACAR: Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review, Special Issue, Latin American Visual Culture, guest editors, Luis de Moura Sobral and Alena Robin, 38, no. 2 (Fall 2013): 22-39
“The Rhetoric of Authority: The Casa de Montejo in Mérida, Yucatán.” RACAR: Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review 35, no. 2 (2010): 5-20
Mohammed Jamil Afana, PhD Thesis in progress, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Co-Supervision with Assoc. Professor Alena Robin, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, August 2016
Aarnoud Rommens, Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, UWO. PhD Thesis: “Constellations of Contestation: Avant-Garde Regimes of Visibility/Legibility North and South.” Co-supervision with Assoc. Professor Allan Pero, Department of English, Western University, August 2012
Major Research Project (MRP) Supervisor
Quintin Teszeri, MRP: “An Object that Rewards a Considered Touch.” Jul. 2015
Brad Morosan, MRP: “The Best Defense is a Good Offense: A Brief Look at Defensive Architecture.” Jul. 2015
Natalie Romano, MRP: “The Art of Accessibility and Forming Consciousness: Suzanne Lacy, WochenKlausur, and Mammalian Diving Reflex.” Dec. 2014
Mattehw Purvis, MA Thesis: “Abstraction and Libidinal Nationalism in the Works of John Boyle and Diana Thorneycroft.” Jun. 2015
Simon Bentley, MA Thesis: “Dance of Dance: The Work of Jack Chambers and Antonio López García.” Dec. 2011
Geddesa Mahabir, MA Thesis: “The Construction of the Late-Renaissance Individual.” Aug. 2011
Rosanna Mortillaro, MA Thesis: “Built Form and Meaning in the Sixteenth Century: Pope Sixtus V and The Lateran Palace.” Aug. 2010
VAH 1041A: Art, Visual Culture, and Power
VAH 9551G/9651G: The Monument in Early Modern and Modern Art
VAH 2262F: Baroque Art History
VAH 1040: A History of Art and Visual Culture
VAH 2266F: Pre-Contact American Art & Architecture
VAH 3388G Histories of Architecture & Urbanism
VAH 2258E: Italian Renaissance Art History
VAH 9551G/9651G: Graduate Seminar: Visualizing Race and Class in the New World