Professor Mónica Domínguez Torres specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art in the Iberian World, with particular interest in the cross-cultural exchanges that took place across Spain and the Americas during the period 1500-1700. 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. Since 2005, she 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, creating cultural bridges between these diverse communities. The study builds on scholarship in the fields of visual, literary, and cultural studies to analyze 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.
In 2008-09, she 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 have been featured in two important books. 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 from November 2011 to January 2012, and at the Museo Nacional de Historia "Castillo de Chapultepec" in Mexico City from July to October 2012. This book was awarded the 2012 Eleanor Tufts Book Prize from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies. Another essay entitled "Los escudos de armas indígenas y el lenguaje heráldico castellano a comienzos del siglo XVI" appeared in the book Los escudos de armas indígenas: de la colonia al México independiente, edited by María Castañeda de la Paz and Hans Roskamp (Colegio de Michoacán, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM, 2013).
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). Professor Domínguez Torres has also published articles in the Bulletin of Latin American Research, Archivo Español de Arte, Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, and Delaware Review of Latin American Studies.
Her current book-length project, tentatively entitled “Pearls at Court,” examines the relationship between the early modern pearl industry and European courtly art, considering not only the cultural currency that pearls had in the early modern period, but also the bitter international rivalries and contestations of power that characterized the pearl industry in the Atlantic world. She has presented advances of this research at the 53rd International Congress of Americanists (Mexico City, 2009), the Renaissance Society of America annual conference (Venice, 2010), the African Americas Project at the University of Delaware (Newark, DE, 2011), and the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (Puerto Rico, 2013). 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).