Department of Religious Studies

Glenn Peers

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Professor, Department of Art & Art History
Glenn Peers



Early medieval and Byzantine art


Peers earned my Ph.D. in the History of Art from The Johns Hopkins University, and, while on leave in 2000 – 01, he earned a Licentiate in Medieval Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in the University of Toronto. He has been a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin since 1998. 

Subtle Bodies: Representing Angels in Byzantium (2001), was published by The University of California Press, and his examination of frames and framing in Byzantine art, Sacred Shock: Framing Visual Experience in Byzantium, was published by Penn State University Press in 2004. Current projects include art and identity amongst Christians of the medieval eastern Mediterranean, philhellenism in Renaissance France, and Byzantine manuscripts, like the eleventh-century Psalter, Vat. gr. 752 (with Barbara Crostini), and the extraordinarily diverse cultures of the pocket empire at Trebizond in the late Middle Ages. 

An exhibition that I curated, Under Gods, work of the British photographer Liz Hingley at the Visual Arts Center took place in the fall of 2012. Please see 
Byzantine Things in the World was held at the Menil Collection in the summer of 2013, and an edited volume by that same title was published to accompany it (published by the Menil and distributed by Yale UP). 

During the 2007 – 08 academic year, Peers was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and during the 2011 - 12 academic year, he was a Whitehead Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. For the summer semester 2014,he was a Senior Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. During the 2015-16 academic year, Peers will be a member of a research team, “Poetics of Christian Performance,” gathered at the Israel Institute for Advanced Study, Jerusalem. 


R S 357 • Art Of Late Antiquity

44240 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am DFA 2.204
(also listed as C C 340)

This course aims to introduce a period of great complexity, the transitional period between the Classical and Christian worlds. The designation, 'Late Antique' is necessarily vague because the transition was drawn out and often without firm definition. The exchange between cultures in this period was dynamic, and this course attempts to examine the art of Late Antiquity as a contest of cultures. Art was in this period an effective means of self-definition for Christians, pagans and Jews alike. This course examines the tentative beginning of a Christian art and architecture beginning around 200. It follows the progress of this new art through its attempts at incorporation and alterations of pagan and Jewish art, and it follows the growth of this visual identity to its fully Christian realization in the seventh century. This broad period encompasses changes that profoundly affected the history of Europe thereafter: a truly Christian art and architecture supplanted the old forms of the pagan world. The course ends with an examination of another process of supplanting and appropriation: the Islamicization of large parts of the formerly Christian world of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Roman Christian world was itself overthrown by the forces of Islam from the east, but as Christians did not erase the past, neither did Muslims. A dynamic and compelling culture grew out of these opposing forces, a culture that has lessons of accommodation and antagonism useful for us today.



Averil Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity. A.D. 395-700, 2d ed., London-New York: Routledge, 2012. [available as e-book] {= C}Nicola Denzey, The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women, Boston: Beacon, 2007. [BR 195 W6 D46 2007] {= D}These texts and all other readings are on reserve in the Fine Arts Library.



1. Students will write two (2) TESTS, each worth 20% of the final grade.2. Students will write two (2) ASSIGNMENTS, each worth 25% of the final grade.3. Class participation is worth 10% of the final grade.

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