Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
My research is focused on Roman and early Christian visual culture, especially sarcophagi, and the interaction of Christian, Roman and Jewish traditions in creating fourth-century identities. My PhD thesis (completed at the University of Warwick) explored a way of re-viewing sarcophagus reliefs with Christian imagery in their late Roman visual-cultural context, bridging the historical gap between the study of classical and late antique art. It argued that Christian sarcophagi remained fundamentally invested in classical traditions of funerary commemoration and intellectual culture, looking beyond over-emphasised stylistic differences to the continued development of certain self-referential aesthetics.
Since then I have produced new work for edited volumes, focusing firstly on the distribution and visual complexity of Christian sarcophagi in Italy beyond the city of Rome, and secondly on the elision of Old and New Testaments and implicit ‘othering’ of the Jews in one fourth-century cycle of images, pieces which have helped to widen my perspective to other contexts and communities. I will now be working on publishing my doctoral thesis as a book, with expanded discussion of earlier classical and Roman art. I hope to push further the potential to think about the aesthetics of early Christian sarcophagi as ‘meta-sculptural’ within the tradition of meta-pictoriality and intermediality in Greek and Roman art. Other potential projects include an article on Virgilian echoes in late Roman verse inscriptions, another aspect of the re-evaluation of the classical past in late antiquity.