Charlene Villaseñor Black is Professor of Art History and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and founding editor-in-chief of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (UC Press). Her research focuses on the art of the early modern Ibero-American world as well as contemporary Chicanx visual culture. Winner of the 2016 Gold Shield Faculty Prize and author of the prize-winning and widely-reviewed 2006 book, Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire, she is finishing her second monograph, Transforming Saints, from Spain to New Spain, under contract with Vanderbilt University Press. Professor Villaseñor Black publishes on a range of topics related to the early modern Iberian world, Chicanx studies, and contemporary Latinx art. Her most recent books include, with Dr. Mari-Tere Álvarez of the Getty Museum, Renaissance Futurities: Art, Science, Invention (UC Press, 2019); the new Chicano Studies Reader (2020); Knowledge for Justice: An Ethnic Studies Reader (2019); and Shifra M. Goldman’s final book, Tradition and Transformation: Chicana/o Art from the 1970s to the 1990s (2015). Several more titles in Art History and Chicanx studies are forthcoming, among them Autobiography without Apology: The Personal Essay in Latino Studies (2020); and Antonio Bernal: Witness to the Chicano Movement (2021). She has held grants from the Fulbright, Mellon, Borchard, Terra, and Woodrow Wilson Foundations, the NEH, the ACLS, and the Getty. Most recently, she is PI of “Critical Mission Studies at California’s Crossroads,” a $1.03 million dollar grant from the University of California’s Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives. Her upbringing as a working class, Catholic Chicana/o from Arizona forged her identity as a border-crossing early modernist and inspirational teacher.


Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1995




  • Art of Early Modern Spain
  • Colonial Latin American Art and Architecture
  • Baroque Art and Architecture
  • Mexico in the Modern Age
  • Chicana/o Art



  • Hemispheric Approaches to Latin American and Latinx Art
  • New Directions in Chicanx and Latinx Art
  • Theories and Practices of the Global Hispanic Baroque
  • Trade Networks and Materiality: Art in the Age of Global Encounters (co-taught with Dr. Maite Alvarez, Getty)
  • New Approaches to Religious Art in Spain and the Americas
  • Art and Activism in Latin America
  • Protest and Praxis in Mexican and Chicana/o Art (co-taught with Prof. Alicia Gaspar de Alba, UCLA)

Selected Fellowships and Awards

  • Distinguished Scholar, Young Scholar Symposium, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, Spring 2020 (deferred due to Covid-19).
  • University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, “Critical Mission Studies at California’s Crossroads,” PI with Co-PIs Jennifer Hughes (UCR), Renya Ramirez (UCSC), and Ross Frank (UCSD), $1.03 million, 2019-2021.
  • Terra Foundation for American Art Grant for Academic Symposium/Workshop, “‘American’ Art and the Legacy of Conquest: Art at California’s Missions in the Global 18th-20th Centuries,” Fall 2019, UCLA, $25,000.
  • Excellence in Diversity Award, College Art Association, awarded to UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center (serving as Associate Director), 2019.
  • Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation, International Education Center Colloquium Grant, Chateau de la Bretesche, Missilac, France, Summer 2017 (“Renaissance Futurities: Science, Art Invention”), $75,000.