Dr. Amy Papalexandrou
Art History: Late Antique and Byzantine Art, Architecture, and Culture
Amy Papalexandrou is a specialist in Late Antique and Byzantine art, architecture and culture. She earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1998 in the field of Art and Archaeology and is trained as an architect, having received the Bachelor and Masters degrees in this field from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught at various institutions including the University of Michigan, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Illinois, where she held the Laing Visiting Distinguished Professorship in the History of Architecture in 2007. At the University of Texas she has taught Modern Greek in the Department of Classics and three courses in the Department of Art and Art History: 'The Social Life of Buildings in Byzantium' (2005); 'Transformations in Late Antique and Early Christian Art & Architecture' (2008); and the undergraduate survey, 'Ancient through Medieval' (2011). Her research and publications focus on monuments and objects in context as part of a much larger system of human existence and interaction. She has published extensively on spolia (ancient, re-used fragments) and monumental inscriptions, always focusing on how these components were incorporated into buildings and the ways in which they were 'used' and interpreted in medieval societies. Issues of memory, orality, performance, landscape, and the contemporary reception of ancient and Byzantine monuments permeate her work. This has most recently taken her into the world of sound and acoustics in Byzantium, which turns out to be a vast and rewarding topic. As part of this she is participating in a team project - recently awarded a transdisciplinary seed grant from the UCLA - to investigate the churches of Byzantine Thessaloniki as performative sound spaces. She is finishing her book on the ninth-century church of Skripou, in central Greece, and is an assistant director of the Princeton-Cyprus Archaeological Expedition to Polis-Chrysochous, for which her team is publishing the late antique and medieval remains (fifth through sixteenth century) from the site.