ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE STUDIES Office Hours:
Spring 2015 by appointment.
About Professor Canepa
Matthew Canepa (Ph.D. University of Chicago) is an historian of art, archaeology and religions. His research tends to focus on the intersection of art, ritual and power in the eastern Mediterranean, Persia and the wider Iranian world.
Prof. Canepa's first book, entitled The Two Eyes of the Earth (University of California Press, 2009 ), is the first to analyze the artistic, ritual and ideological interactions between the late Roman/Byzantine and Sasanian empires in a comprehensive and theoretically rigorous manner. It was awarded the 2010 James Henry Breasted Prize from the American Historical Association for the best book in English on any field of history prior to the year 1000 CE.
Theorizing Cross-Cultural Interaction (Smithsonian, 2010) studies the phenomena of cross-cultural interaction between the ancient to early Medieval Mediterranean, Western Asia and China. Other recent publications include an article on the recreation of Persian monuments and identity in late antiquity, an examination of the impact of Achaemenid and Seleukid practices on Middle Iranian royal funerary monuments and associated rituals, and Hellenistic and Middle Iranian sacred architecture in Western Asia. He is currently finishing a book exploring the transformation of Iranian identity, landscapes, architecture and urbanism and is serving as an area advisor/editor for the planned Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity.
Professor Canepa is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships including from the Getty Research Institute (2013), the American Council of Learned Societies (2009-2010), the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (2007), and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (2002-2003). In fall 2009 he was invited to be the Michaelmas Term visiting Senior Research Fellow at Merton College, University of Oxford.
In addition to seminars on historiography and theory, Canepa teaches courses in the art and archaeology of the late Roman/early Byzantine Mediterranean, Pre-Islamic Iran, and Hellenistic Asia. He encourages prospective graduate students who wish to pursue research in these areas or who are interested in critical approaches to the study of pre-modern art and architecture to contact him.
For Prospective MA/PhD Students: University of Minnesota is the only graduate program in North America that offers specialized training in the art and architectural history of Persia and the ancient Iranian world encompassing the Hellenistic through Sasanian periods. UMN is one of the few art history programs in North America that offers specialized doctoral training in the art and archaeology of the late Roman through early Byzantine Empire. If you are considering pursuing graduate work in the art, architecture and archaeology of these areas, contact me via email to inform me of your interest, background and potential research topics. In addition to the Mediterranean and Western Asia, University of Minnesota's graduate program offers faculty strengths in the art, architecture and urbanism of Central, South and East Asia. These fields of study are supported by UMN's vibrant programs in Classical and Near Eastern Studies, Anthropological Archaeology, and Medieval Studies, which all participate in UMN's newly founded Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World. The Consortium was established with an initial $600,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to promote research and teaching in global premodern studies. It is in a period of rapid expansion as a central resource for integrated, multidisciplinary research and graduate work in Global Premodern Studies at the University of Minnesota.