Engel received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009. Her research has been funded by the Getty Grant Program and the Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Major Grant, among others. She recently completed a material culture research project with Thomas Cummins that was published by Getty Publications entitled, Manuscript Cultures in Colonial Mexico and Peru: New Questions and Approaches (2015). Engel has published articles on the politics of taste in colonial South America, Bolivarian portraiture, and pilgrimage in the Andean highlands. She is currently editing A Companion to Early Modern Lima(under contract with Brill Publications), a compilation volume that systematically presents current interdisciplinary research on the sixteenth-century city from urban development, politics and government to society and culture. Engel is also working on a book project entitled Pictured Politics: Visualizing Colonial History in South American Portrait Collections which explores the visualization of history in late-colonial official portraits. Until 2015, she served as Assistant Professor of Art History and Chair of the Fine Arts Department at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City.