Dr. Manuel Torres
Constantino Manuel Torres has conducted research on ancient cultures of the South Central Andes since 1982. His work has concentrated on the San Pedro de Atacama oasis, where hundreds of well-preserved archaeological burial sites facilitate a comprehensive understanding of this desert people. Most importantly, San Pedro de Atacama religion is connected to notions of landscape as body, to visionary experiences, and an ecstatic approach to the supernatural. Torres is also involved in the study of the art of Tiwanaku, the most important pre-Inca Central Andean civilization. His latest efforts attempt to unravel the structure of the Tiwanaku iconographic configuration.
On two occasions he has been an invited presenter to the prestigious Dumbarton Oaks Round Table, in Washington DC. He has participated in a symposium on the art of the South Central Andes at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts of the National Gallery, Washington, DC. In 1999, Torres organized several symposia on the art and archaeology of the Andes for the International Congress of Americanists and for the Society for American Archaeology.
His books include Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America (2006), a comprehensive and detailed study of this sacred plant of well documented ritual use for at least 4000 years. He has published numerous articles on the ancient cultures of the Atacama and Bolivia in journals in Chile, the United States, and Europe. Torres has been the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships for the study of the Precolumbian art of northern Chile.
Dr. Torres is professor of art history of at Florida International University, the State of Florida University, Miami. He teaches courses on Precolumbian Art of the Andes, Art & Shamanism, Precolumbian Art of Mesoamerica, Gift Strategies for the Art-making Process, Art and Issues of Identity, among others. He is a member of the Institute of Andean Studies, Berkeley, California, and the Sociedad Chilena de Arqueologia, Santiago, and adjunct professor for the graduate program in Anthropology and Archaeology, Universidad Católica del Norte, San Pedro de Atacama campus, Chile. He is also advisor for “Cultura y Drogas,” an interdisciplinary Masters at the Universidad de Caldas, Colombia.