Ananda Cohen-Aponte is Associate Professor of History of Art at Cornell University who works on the visual culture of colonial Latin America, with special interests in issues of cross-cultural exchange, historicity, identity, and anti-colonial movements.
Her recent book, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (University of Texas Press, 2016) explores the intersections between art, politics, religion, and society in mural paintings located in colonial churches across the southern Andes. This work draws on nearly a decade of archival and primary source research to understand the ways that artists appropriated European religious iconography to articulate local narratives, transforming the medium of muralism into a powerful barometer of indigenous and mestizo life under Spanish colonial rule. She also served as editor and primary author of the book Pintura colonial cusqueña: el esplendor del arte en los Andes/Paintings of Colonial Cusco: Artistic Splendor in the Andes, published as separate Spanish and English-language editions (Haynanka Ediciones, 2015). Her essays appear in a range of journals and edited volumes, including Colonial Latin American Review, The Americas, Allpanchis, and Envisioning Others: Race, Color, and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America, among others.
She is currently conducting research on a new project that explores the role of the visual arts in fomenting an insurgent imaginary in late 18th-century Peru and Bolivia within a context of inter-ethnic conflict and rebellion.
* Note: In work prior to 2017, Ananda’s published work has been credited under Cohen Suarez. All of her current publications are credited to Cohen-Aponte, which is the name she prefers.