Art history professor awarded John Carter Brown Library Fellowship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Amara Solari, assistant professor of art history and anthropology, has been awarded a nine-month Long-Term Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, R.I., for the 2013-14 academic year. The fellowship is underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Solari will spend the fellowship completing her third book, "Idol Threats: Historicizing Maya/Catholic Icons in the Yucatan Peninsula," 1550-1900, which will examine the shifting role of visual culture in New Spain during the mass epidemics of the early colonial period. “My book seeks to elucidate the relationship between the Maya people of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Catholic icons they deemed sacred throughout the course of the colonial period,” Solari explains. “In particular, I will be analyzing the effect of mass epidemics — in particular the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1648 — on public Catholic ritual and the formation of 17 cults to the Virgin Mary located in various parishes of the peninsula.”  

Solari’s research focuses on processes of cultural, visual and theological interchange between indigenous groups and Spanish settlers of New Spain. She has written articles on colonial Maya mapping systems that have appeared in The Art Bulletin and Terrae Incognitae, and her book reviews have appeared in Ethnohistory and American Anthropologist. In 2011, Solari published 2012 and "The End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse" with Matthew Restall, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Colonial American history, anthropology and women’s studies. Due out in 2013 is Solari’s first monograph, "The Transfiguration of Space: Maya ideologies of the sacred in colonial Yucatan" (University of Texas Press) in which she utilizes the Maya/Franciscan colonial city of Itzmal as a case study due to its remarkable cultural hybridity, fortuitously preserved in the city’s extant visual culture.

Last Updated April 23, 2013