TITLE: Indigenous Identity, Artistic Agency, and the Heraldic Imagination in Early Colonial Mexico
SPEAKER: Monica Dominguez Torres
EVENT DATE: 2009/05/28
RUNNING TIME: 55 minutes
Heraldry was one of the few spaces in which the indigenous elites of post-Conquest Mexico could express their own worldview and authority claims. As part of their political negotiations with the Spanish Crown, indigenous nobles of the Central Valley of Mexico requested and secured distinctive coats of arms that incorporated Mesoamerican symbols of power and ancestry into European heraldic models. These creations, however, had to conform to prescribed conventions that regulated the level of authority indigenous subjects could claim. Focusing on surviving documents requesting and endorsing indigenous coats of arms, this talk analyzes some of the complex negotiations behind the heraldic production of early colonial Mexico.
Speaker Biography: Monica Dominguez Torres holds a 2004 doctorate in the history of art form with a specialization in colonial Latin America from the University of Toronto. Her Kluge Fellowship looked at the coats of arms of an indigenous group in 16th century Mexico. This fall Torres returned as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware. She has extensive experience working in museums in Spain and Venezuela. Torres also has a significant number of publications including book reviews, contributions to art catalogs, and articles for journals.