I work on visual, spatial and physical experience and the investigation of cultural and societal shift in the ancient Mediterranean. I studied Theater and Classics at Northwestern University and received my Masters and PhD in Greek and Roman art from The University of Texas at Austin. The widely interdisciplinary and global perspective of the doctoral program led me to embrace research that reaches across traditional cultural, temporal and geographical boundaries, and judiciously mixes methodology and theory to test new perspectives.
My first book, The Genesis of Roman Architecture, is a study of Roman art and architecture up to the mid fifth century BCE and the effects of early urban and artistic change on the formation of the Republic and the history of Roman art. I have also published articles on the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Rome’s first and most enduring colossal temple, and on the creation and experience of the Roman Forum, among other subjects. My next book project, currently titled The Connected World of Early Roman Art, is an investigation of cultural, spatial and temporal connectivity between Rome and the wider Italic and Mediterranean worlds, by way of the art and architecture of the sixth to second centuries BCE.
I serve as co-director two research projects, the Collections Analysis Collaborative (CAC) and 2017-2018 Rice Seminar, Forgery and the Ancient. The CAC is a digital research and educational initiative to investigate the provenance and social history of nearly 600 objects from the Ancient Mediterranean in the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, and to explore how open collaboration between museums and scholars can shed new light on challenges that face art historians, archaeologists and museum professionals in a new era of cultural stewardship. The Rice Seminar on Forgery was a year-long think tank that brought together eight scholars for collective and independent study on the notions and practices of forgery as it relates to the ancient world. The seminar is currently gearing up for a major conference in 2019 and will result in an edited volume on the subject.
As part of my PhD research at The University of Texas at Austin, I began working in digital reconstruction. The fragmentary nature of early Roman art led me to begin a project with the UCLA Experiential Technology Center and with other scholars and students working in 3D modeling and interactive publication. An electronic publication through the American Council of Learned Societies E-book series, titled Visualizing the Genesis of Roman Architecture, will incorporate an advanced, fully interactive virtual model of early Rome into a scholarly framework with imbedded citations.
I have been a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Getty Research Institute.