Carolyn Dean

Carolyn Dean, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, researches both pre-Hispanic and Spanish Colonial Inka visual culture. She authored Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi in Colonial Cuzco, Peru (Duke University Press, 1999) and A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock (Duke University Press, 2010), and has published articles in a variety of journals including Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Colonial Latin American Review, Material Religion, RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, Third Text, and Word & Image. Her research focuses on the expressive cultures of native Andeans of South America, ca. 1400–1800 CE, and she investigates ways indigenous ontologies are visualized and manifested materially. Issues that interest her include the following: the perception of sentience and agency in inert matter; facturing processes in visual culture; and the significance and communicative power of non-imagistic design. Currently she is co-authoring a book with Dana Leibsohn (Professor of Art History, Smith College) that considers indigenous contributions to the cosmopolitan visual cultures of Spanish America from California and the American southwest across Mexico and Central and Andean South America. The book examines how indigenous art, global trade networks, and cosmopolitan ambitions intersected in colonial Spanish America (ca. 1500–1850) by focusing on three fundamental queries: How did indigenous Americans create a place for themselves in the wider world to which Spanish colonialism introduced them?; How have perceptions of indigenous art shifted over time, both for natives and outsiders?; and How does indigenous art contribute to our understanding of colonialism and its history today? The book will examine a wide range of indigenous objects, including works of stone, cloth, clay, and paint, forging new links among the histories of art, colonialism, and global exchange.