Research interests include the relationship between artistic form and religious thought, the visual syntax of belief systems, cross-cultural translation by visual means, the role of art and architecture in the political history of the kingdom of Kongo and of the Portuguese colony of Angola, the role of Christian art and rituals in the experience of enslavement in colonial Brazil, the history of artistic encounters between Europeans and Africans, art and colonialism, visual epistemologies of late colonial Brazil.
Affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and faculty co-sponsor of the African Studies Workshop.
- "Dance, Image, Myth, and Conversion in the Kingdom of Kongo: 1500-1800." African Arts 44, 4 (2011): 54-65.
Listed as one of “50 influential articles published by the Journals division of the MIT Press” in the last 50 years. Read more.
- "Under the Sign of the Cross in the Kingdom of Kongo: Religious Conversion and Visual Correlation in Early Modern Central Africa." RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, 59-60, (2011): 109-123.
- "Collecting and Translating Knowledge Across Cultures: Capuchin Missionary Images of Early modern Central Africa." In Collecting Across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern Atlantic World, edited by Daniela Bleichmar and Peter Mancall, 134-154. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
- "A Walk through the City: Stories and Histories of Luanda 1575-1975." Ellipsis: The Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Association, 4 (2006): 49-78.
Ph.D. Harvard University - African and Colonial Latin American art and architecture with research specialization in early modern central Africa