I’m an art historian specializing in medieval Sicilian and southern Italian art and architecture. I’ve recently joined the faculty of Art and Art History at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA as a Visiting Assistant Professor. I’m working on my first book project, In Pursuit of Magnificence: Art & Literature in Medieval Sicily, polishing an article on the craft of painted ceilings and depictions of violence in 14th-century Sicily, and working on a garden plot managed by LEAP, Roanoke’s Local Environmental Agriculture Project.
I’m happy to have joined the faculty at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA as a Visiting Assistant Professor! A historic women’s college, Hollins has invited me to teach Baroque and Renaissance Art, Global Art of the Pre-Modern World, and Research Methods. This semester, I’m teaching Behind the Scenes at the Museum (co-taught with Jenine Culligan), Medieval Art and Architecture, and a Senior Seminar designed to prep students for their thesis symposium this April.
As a scholar of medieval art, I prepare students to critically examine and contextualize art, architecture, and urban design throughout the Mediterranean, Byzantine, and Islamic worlds and their convergences from the 6th through 15th centuries. In my upper-level seminars I focus on relatively small regions or dynasties — in southern Italy, North Africa, the Levant — and introduce students to different methodological tools and disciplines, such as archaeology, ecology and environmental studies, economics, and gender studies. I also integrate off-campus experiential learning by working with City employees, utility companies, and local artists to help students better understand issues affecting pre-modern urban places by finding resonances in the cities around us.
Please note that abstract submissions to Convivium X/1: The Architecture of Medieval Port Cities: Italy and the Mediterranean are due on May 1st, 2022 for publication in April 2023. Prof. Sarah Kozlowski and I are editing essays related to our session at the 2020 2020 Society of Architectural Historians, which brought together Prof. Elizabeth Kasslar-Taub (Dartmouth University) and Prof. Joseph Williams (University of Maryland) to speak about the port of Palermo and medieval Adriatic ports, respectively.
Above: A view eastward of the painted ceiling of the Sala Magna, painted by maestri Simone da Corleone, Cecco di Naro, and Pellegrino Darena di Palermo between 1377-1380, commissioned by Grand Admiral Manfredi III Chiaramonte. Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri, Palermo, Sicily. Photo: K. Streahle.
Left: Detail of painted wooden muqarnas ceiling, central nave of the Cappella Palatina, consecrated 1140. Palazzo dei Normanni, Palermo, Sicily. Photo: K. Streahle.