I am currently an Associate Professor of Art History at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Previously, I was an Assistant Professor of Art History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center within CUNY.
I specialize in the art and architecture of the Spanish Colonial Americas (think Mexico and most of South America, 1492–1821), the Global Renaissance, and the Pre-Columbian Americas. At Pepperdine I also teach a (very) large-lecture class (200+ students) that is the first of three humanities GE classes. It spans 30,000 BC to AD 1350, and covers art, history, philosophy, literature, theater, and more. I also teach art history classes that are usually under 15 students. Currently, one of my favorites is our World Art History II class (fifteenth century to the present).
Some of my current research focuses on images of the body and body parts, the intersection of art and science, the visual culture of death and dying, and food and art. I wrote a book about the images of the Sacred Heart in Colonial Mexico. I co-edited another book about suffering and pain in the early modern world. I am working on another book about emotions in the early modern world, and another on art of the Jesuit diaspora. I am also very interested in digital art history and the digital humanities more broadly, as much of this site details. I am always looking for new, creative ways to improve my teaching, and I spend more time than I care to admit reading books about pedagogy. Teaching is one of my great loves. I serve as a Contributing Editor, Content Contributor, and Board Member for Smarthistory (which is also on Khan Academy).
I have spent a lot of time in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, and the southwestern U.S. I am fortunate to have traveled more broadly to Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Tanzania, Thailand, and Canada. I try to travel as often as possible, and encourage students to study abroad should they have the opportunity to do so.
How did I get into Art History? As an undergraduate, I majored in Biology and History in a special B.A./M.D. program. During my sophomore year I took Art History 101 (“Caves to Cathedrals”) as a G.E. requirement and fell in love with the subject. After finishing my B.A. and M.A., I began a Ph.D. in Art History at UCLA. I earned my Ph.D in 2009.
I have taught at UCLA, the University of Oregon, CUNY-Brooklyn College, and the CUNY Graduate Center.
On a more personal note, I am the proud mama of a wild, adventurous, and silly 3 year-old daughter and a smiley, easy-going, extremely active 1-year old (as of March 2019). They keep me on my toes and remind me (every day) that there is more to life than work. They are the inspiration for much of what I do.
If you want to read more about my scholarship, feel free to check out my university faculty webpage.