Stella Nair

On leave until Spring 2016

Trained as an architect and architectural historian, Nair has conducted fieldwork in Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, and the U.S. Midwest, with ongoing projects in the South Central Andes. Her research examines the art, architecture, and urbanism of indigenous communities in the Americas, before and after the arrival of Europeans. Nair’s scholarship is shaped by her interests in material culture studies, cross-cultural exchange, hemispheric networks, landscape transformations, spatial theory, and construction technology.

Nair’s publications explore a range of subjects and regions such as the design of Inca royal estates, Tiahuanaco stone carving, colonial Andean paintings, and Brazilian urbanism. She has received research grants and fellowships from the American Philosophical Association, the Center for the Study of the Visual Arts (National Gallery of Art), Dumbarton Oaks, the Fulbright Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the John Carter Brown Library.  Nair has recently completed At Home with the Sapa Inca: Architecture, Space, and Legacy at Chinchero (University of Texas, 2015). She has also published (with Jean-Pierre Protzen) a book entitled The Stones of Tiahuanaco: A Study of Architecture and Construction (Cotsen 2013). Nair’s article “Localizing Sacredness, Difference, and Yachacuscamcani in a Colonial Andean Painting” was honored by its selection as one of thirty-two ‘greatest hits’ articles published in the last hundred years of the Art Bulletin.

Stella Nair is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History. She is also Core Faculty in the Archaeology Interdepartmental Program and the Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies at UCLA. In addition, Nair is Affiliated Faculty with the American Indian Studies Center, the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, and the Latin American Institute.

More information:

Courses Taught (undergraduate)

  • “Art, Architecture, and Urbanism of the Americas until 1450 A.D.” (lecture) 
  • “Art, Architecture, and Urbanism of Latin America, 1450 A.D.–present” (lecture)
  • “Art Historical Theories and Methodologies” (seminar)
  • “Arts of the Andes” (lecture)
  • “Cuzco: A Journey into the Urban Unknown” (seminar)
  • “Inca Visual Culture” (lecture)
  • “Making Sacred Landscapes: Pilgrimage in the Medieval World” (lecture)

Courses Taught (graduate)

  • “Architecture, Space, and Landscape in Colonial Encounters” (seminar)
  • “Art, Power, and the Sacred Capital: Tenochtitlan and Cuzco” (seminar)
  • “From Law of the Indies to Brasilia: Architecture and Urbanism in Latin America (Mexico, Peru, Brazil)” (seminar)
  • “Public Places, Private Spaces: Constructing Inca Royal Landscapes” (seminar)
  • “The Inca in the Early Modern World (seminar)

Links to Related Centers:

Related Working Groups:

Local Museum Collections: