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profile-picBarbara Abou-El-Haj (1943-2015)

Associate Professor Emeritus

The department of art history mourns the loss of Professor Barbara Abou-el-Haj, who passed away on March 6, 2015. Friends, colleagues, and students are invited to add their memories and tributes to her online memorial:


The Medieval Cult of Saints: Formations and Transformations. Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Paper edition, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Lordship and Commune: A Comparative Study of Building in Reims and Amiens. Book manuscript in preparation.


"Producing the Route of St. James: The Camino de Santiago in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries,” Mediaevalia 36/37 (2015/2016): 51-77.

“Dissent: Satan, Job and Gregory IX,” under consideration for a collection on Reims north transept (Ashgate, AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Science, Technology and Art).

“The Structure of Meaning. Architectural Representation in the Later Middle Ages,” Studies in Iconography 25 (2004), pp. 129-171.

"Santiago de Compostela in the Time of Diego Gelmírez," Gesta, XXXVI 1/2 (1997), 165-79. 

"Program and Power in the Glass of Reims, Radical Art History." An International Anthology, ed. Wolfgang Kersten, Zurich, 1997, pp. 22-33, 226-233. 

"Saint Cuthbert.  The Post-Conquest Appropriation of an Anglo-Saxon Cult," Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints' Lives and Their Contexts, ed. Paul E. Szarmach, Albany, 1996, pp. 177-206.

"Artistic Integration Inside the Cathedrals, Social Consensus Outside?," Artistic Integration in Early Gothic Churches. ed. K. Brush, P. Draper, V. Raguin, University of  Toronto Press, 1995, pp. 214-35. 

"Building and Decorating at Reims and Amiens,"  Europäische Skulptur im 12./13. Jahrhundert, ed. H. Beck and K. Hengevoss-Dürkop, 2 vols., Frankfurt am Main, 1994, vol. 1, pp. 763-76, and vol. 2, pp. 508-519.

"The Audiences for the Medieval Cult of Saints," Gesta, XXX (1991), pp. 3-15. 

"Languages and Models for Cultural Exchange," Culture, Globalization, and the World-System (Current Debates in Art History 3), ed. Anthony King, Art and Art History, SUNY Binghamton and London, 1991, pp. 139-44. 

"Ritual, Image and Subordination in Thirteenth-century Reims," World Art: Themes of Unity in Diversity, ed., Irving Lavin (Acts of the XXVI International Congress of the History of Art), University Park, Penn, 1989, vol. III, pp. 653-64. 

"The Urban Setting for Late Medieval Church Building: Reims and its Cathedral between 1210 and 1240," Art History 11 (1988), pp. 17-41. (Review - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) 

"Feudal Conflicts and the Image of Power in the Life of Saint Amand," Kritische Berichte 13 (1985), pp. 5-30. 

"Bury St Edmunds Abbey between 1070 and 1124: a History of Property, Privilege and Monastic Art Production," Art History 6 (1983), pp. 1-29. (Review - C.M. Kauffmann, "English Romanesque Book Illumination: Changes in the Field 1974-1984) 

"Consecration and Investiture in the Life of Saint Amand," Art Bulletin 61 (1979), pp. 342-58. 

Fellowships and Grants


2003 Fall    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

1999-2000    Paul Mellon Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1995 Summer    National Endowment for the Humanities Stipend and Travel Grant

1994 Winter     UCLA Arts Council Chair (declined)

1991-1992     National Endowment for the Humanities

1987 Fall     Ailsa Mellon Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

1970    Kress Foundation Summer Research Travel Grant

1967    Kress Foundation Summer Research Travel Grant


2013-2014    Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

1988 Summer    Binghamton Fellowship and Summer Grant, $4,000.

1967-71     Chancellor's Teaching Fellow, UCLA

1966    UCLA Art Council Graduate Grant for Summer Research

Tutorial and Graduate Supervison

Senior Tutorials and Honors

Amanda Grannis: “Convivencia: History, Myth, and Modern Memory,” 2012

Maureen Larimore: “Saint Geneviève of Paris,” 2012

Moira Kim Penza: Thomas Becket in Medieval and Modern Literature,” Honors Thesis, English, 2005

Erin Martin: “From Villa to Fortress: The Getty Humanities Center” Honors Thesis, 2001-2002

Stephanie Groothuis: “Franz Marc. Representations 1900-1920"

Gail Hoenig: “Fragonard -- A Critical Historiography,” Tutorial, Spring 1994

Laura Hansen: “The Production History of American Glass, Honors,” 1993-94

Danielle Nyarady: “Canterbury Cathedral and the Cult of Thomas Becket,” Tutorial, Spring 1994

J. Terry: “The Counter-Reformation Project for St. Peter's, Rome.”

Jill Taylor: “Political Representation, Economic Crisis, and Artistic Transformations in the Columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius”

Jenny Kalina:  ”The Nineteenth-Century Project to Restore Medieval Churches and the Catholic Hierarchy in Post-Revolutionary France.”

Nadia Abdullah: “The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Medieval and Contemporary Ideology.”


Heather Allen: “The Representation of Textiles on Medieval Tomb Effigies”

Maggie Carlise:  “Battle Abbey Then and Now,” 2004

Christine Dwyer: “The Cult of Saint Edward the Confessor: An Affirmation of the Norman Right to Rule England” 1999

Tara Winner:  “Spring Forest Cemetery, Binghamton, N.Y.: A Local Example of the Rural Cemetery Movement “ 1999

Mae Benson: “The Illustrated Life of Ste Radegund: For Love of the World,” 1998 Devon Murphy:  “Stourhead: Disparate Emblems in an Eighteenth-Century Landscape Garden,” 1997

Ilana Abend-David: “Politics and Archaeology in Israel: Yigael Yadin’s Excavations at Masada,” 1995

Antoinette Aleccia: “The Shrine of Thomas Becket, Canterbury Cathedral,” 1990

Donna Dajnowski: “Holy Trinity Dormition Chapel, Jordanville, New York,” 1988

Doctoral Students

Laurel Braun: “Women’s Patronage in Medieval Iberia”

Aynur DeRouen, “Urban Spaces, 19th-century Istanbul”

Melissa Fitzmaurice: “Late Antique and Early Christian Shrines”

Kenneth Havenstein, "Choreographing the City. Politics, Pedagogy, and musicality in Medieval Siena." PhD 2009

Saygin Salgirli, “From Thirteenth-Century Toulouse to Fifteenth-Century Serres: A Comparative Study of Dissent, Authority, Architecture and Space” PhD 2009

Sharon C. Smith: “Planned Grandeur:  A Commensurate Study of Urban Expansion in Early Modern Italy and Mamluk Egypt,” 2009 (co-supervisor)

Rosemary Ludwick, “Scenes from the Life of Saint Augustine: The Cloister’s Panel of the Metropolitan Museum of Art” PhD 2003

Joseph Bertha: “The Illustration of the Akathist Hymn at the Ferapontov Monastery,” PhD 2002

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses

Global Visions

Late Roman Art and Politics

The Golden Arts of Kings/ Early Medieval Art

The Carolingians. Fantasies of Rome

Monastery and Cathedral Towns in the Later Middle Ages

Medieval Cults of Saints

Europe of the Capitals

Opulence and Excess. Building in the Middle Ages

Junior Seminar/ Historiography

Graduate Seminars

Graduate Methods and Theory

Medieval Pro Seminar

Inventing the Middle Ages: nation-state, political ideology, cultural capital

The Bayeux Tapestry/ Partisan Records of the Norman Conquest of England

Medieval Historiographies

Saints, Shrines and Spectacle. Aspects of Medieval Cults of Saints

Vézelay and Santiago. Pilgrimage and Rebellion

Abbey and Cathedral Towns in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Reims and Amiens. Lordship and Commune

Reims, the Coronation Cathedral

Frontier Cultures/Cultures of Exchange/Medieval Spain

Medieval Shrines/Modern Inventions

Medieval Icons


Last Updated: 5/2/18