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Mónica Domínguez Torres
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Art of the Early Modern Iberian World
Ph.D. University of Toronto
University of Delaware
321 Old College
Newark, DE 19716


Professor Mónica Domínguez Torres specializes in the art of the early modern Iberian world, with particular interest in cross-cultural exchanges between Spain and the Americas during the period 1492-17 00. She received a B.A. in Art History from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, a Masters in Museum Studies and a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Toronto, Canada. She joined UD's Department of Art History in 2003, and since 2005 holds a joint appointment in Latin American and Iberian Studies.

Her book Military Ethos and Visual Culture in Post-Conquest Mexico (Ashgate, 2013) investigates the significance of military images and symbols in sixteenth-century Mexico, showing how certain interconnections between martial, social, and religious elements resonated with similar intensity among Mesoamericans and Europeans, and created cultural bridges between these diverse communities. In 2008-09, Prof. Domínguez was awarded a Kluge fellowship at the Library of Congress to work on the project "Blazons of the Anáhuac: The Production, Regulation and Consumption of Indigenous Heraldry in Sixteenth-Century Mexico," whose results were featured in several publications. In particular, the essay "Emblazoning Identity: Indigenous Heraldry in Colonial Mexico and Peru" appeared in the book Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World (Yale University Press, 2011), published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2011-2012), and the Museo Nacional de Historia "Castillo de Chapultepec" in Mexico City (2012). This book received the 2012 Eleanor Tufts Book Prize from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies.

With Professor Wendy Bellion, she co-edited Objects in Motion: Art and Material Culture across Colonial North America (2011), a special issue of the journal Winterthur Portfolio featuring papers presented at an international symposium they organized at the University of Delaware in 2008. This collaboration has also extended to the classroom, offering graduate seminars on colonial art across North America, and co-authoring the essay "Teaching Across the Borders of North American Art History" which appeared in A Companion to American Art, edited by John Davis, Jennifer Greenhill, and Jason LaFountain (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). Along with Prof. Bellion, she also contributed to the "Paired Perspectives" section of the journal American Art (summer 2016) with the essay "Havana's Fortunes: 'Entangled Histories' in Copley's Watson and the Shark."

Prof. Domínguez served as curatorial leader for the exhibition The Ese'Eja People of the Amazon: Connected by a Thread, on view at the University of Delaware's Old College Gallery in Fall 2016. Featuring photos, videos and a variety of artifacts collected by a multidisciplinary cultural preservation team headed by Prof. Jon Cox (Department of Art and Design), the exhibition presented not only the history and way of life of the Ese'Eja, one of the few remaining foraging cultures of the Amazon, but also their struggles within the complex political, environmental, and human rights dynamics of contemporary Peru. She also contributed a catalogue essay for the exhibition Power and Piety. Spanish Colonial Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection on view at different venues across the United States.

 Her current book-length project, Pearls for the Crown: European Courtly Art and the Rise of the Pearl Trade, 1498-1728, examines a selection of courtly images and collectibles related to the Atlantic pearl industry in connection with the interplay between materiality, labor, and consumption that drove artistic production in the early modern period. She has presented advances of this research at a number of national and international venues, and her essay "Pearl Fishing in the Caribbean: Early Images of Slavery and Forced Migration in the Americas" appeared in the volume African Diaspora in the Cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States, edited by Persephone Braham (University of Delaware Press, 2015).



Military Ethos and Visual Culture in Post-Conquest MexicoDomínguez Torres, MónicaAshgateFarnham, Surrey2013<p>Bringing to bear her extensive knowledge of the cultures of Renaissance Europe and sixteenth-century Mexico, Mónica Domínguez Torres here investigates the significance of military images and symbols in post-Conquest Mexico. She shows how the 'conquest' in fact involved dynamic exchanges between cultures; and that certain interconnections between martial, social and religious elements resonated with similar intensity among Mesoamericans and Europeans, creating indeed cultural bridges between these diverse communities.<br></p><p>Multidisciplinary in approach, this study builds on scholarship in the fields of visual, literary and cultural studies to analyse the European and Mesoamerican content of the martial imagery fostered within the indigenous settlements of central Mexico, as well as the ways in which local communities and leaders appropriated, manipulated, modified and reinterpreted foreign visual codes. <em>Military Ethos and Visual Culture in Post-Conquest Mexico</em> draws on post-structuralist and post-colonial approaches to analyse the complex dynamics of identity formation in colonial communities.<br></p>

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  • Department of Art History
  • University of Delaware
  • 318 Old College
  • Newark, DE 19716 USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8415