Charlene Villaseñor Black, whose research and teaching focuses on the art of the Ibero-American world, is Associate Professor of Art History at UCLA, with a joint appointment in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. She is currently a Frederick Burkhardt/ACLS Fellow at the Huntington Library (2011-2012), where she is finishing her latest book, Transforming Saints: Women, Art, and Conversion in Mexico and Spain, 1521-1800. This project considers the translation and transformation of images of holy women from the Old World to the New, with a focus on the Madonna, St. Anne, St. Librada, and Mary Magdalene. These cults all came under Inquisition scrutiny and all were suspected of masking illicit indigenous practices. Her widely-reviewed 2006 book, Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire, was awarded the College Art Association Millard Meiss subvention. She has been awarded major research grants from the Fulbright, Mellon, Ford, and Woodrow Wilson Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her numerous publications range widely, from early modern to colonial and contemporary art, appearing in Art Journal, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, Sixteenth Century Journal, and several anthologies. She has recently edited a collection of essays by pioneering art historian Shifra M. Goldman, and written the introduction to Tradition and Transformation: Chicana/o Art from the 1970s to the 1990s (forthcoming, 2013), and is working on a second collection of Goldman’s essays, Toward a New Millennium: Contemporary Art of the Transnational Americas. While much of her research investigates the politics of religious art and transatlantic exchange, Villaseñor Black is also actively engaged in the Chicana/o art scene. Her upbringing as a working class, Catholic Chicana/o from Arizona forged her identity as a border-crossing early modernist and inspirational teacher.
Click here to learn more about Early Modern Studies at UCLA.
ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship