I am a native of Baltimore and an historian of religious visual culture in colonial Latin America. I received my B.A. in History of Art, Latin American Studies, and Spanish from Johns Hopkins University in 2007 and my M.A. in History, Program in Andean Studies from La Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima in 2010 and my PhD from Duke University in 2019.
My dissertation “Coloring the Sacred: Art and Devotion in Colonial Peru and Brazil” spans disciplinary, linguistic, and imperial bounds to explore how locals’ devotion to saints in colonial Brazil and Peru expressed through visual media informed broader debates on the enslavement and the spiritual conquest of “New” world populations. Specifically, I explore a range of social actors—African slaves, indigenous muleteers, Portuguese merchants, and Spanish clergymen—who contributed to the multi-directional process of “coloring the sacred” by producing, consuming, and circulating images of saints. Juxtaposing an iconographic analysis of sacred image-objects (paintings, prints, sculptures, crucifixes, and oratories) alongside textual sources, I historicize how lay devotion to saints and their images could simultaneously bridge and mark ethnic divides, thus contributing to rich theoretical debates on hybridity, religion, and the construction of race in the Iberian Atlantic world.