Constructs of race are the result of colonial enterprises and thought. Since the Spanish and Portuguese invasion of what we now call ‘Latin America,’ class, social economy, and cultural habits became important factors to categorize social groups into different ‘races.’ In this process, visual culture supported and shaped meanings of ‘race’ through the representation of human subjects and bodies. Dress, in particular, became an essential aspect of the classification of people into racial categories and their representation. These readings offer an introduction to the representation of race in Early Modern Latin America, particularly during the colonial period (roughly 16th–early 19th centuries).
About The Author
Laura specializes in the history of art and fashion in the early modern Spanish World. She is a doctoral candidate at the College of William and Mary and received her MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design. Her dissertation explores the adoption and adaptation of European fashions, their fusion with local Indigenous elements of dress, and their representation in portraits and pictures of types in the Viceroyalty of New Granada in the second half of the eighteenth century.