Laura Martin

Ph.D. student, Division of Art History


Laura’s research interests center on religious art from the early modern global Hispanic world. Her research explores how religious images served as conduits for the divine, taking seriously their power within the early modern imaginary. Laura’s scholarship examines colonial images of saints, exploring how Indigenous and Catholic conceptions of divinity translated into colonial understandings of the sacred in both Spain and Latin America. Her work also investigates how early modern conceptions of gender impacted faith and how those ideas translated into visual rhetoric.


Laura studied history, art history and Spanish as an undergraduate in the Honors College at Baylor University. She then received her M.Ed. in history at Texas State University and taught as a secondary history teacher and instructional coach for four years. She decided to return to higher education in 2021, where she completed her second master’s degree in art history at SMU. She returned to SMU in 2023 to complete her Ph.D. in art history. In her free time, Laura enjoys movies and travel.