Elizabeth Lastra teaches courses on the arts of medieval Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Islamic world. Her research focuses on northern Spanish art and society in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, addressing questions of urbanization, pilgrimage, and the dynamics of socially and religiously pluralistic communities. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining Vassar, she was Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Liz has published in Word & Image and Studies in Iconography, and has an article upcoming in Gesta. She is currently working on a book, Art and Authority in Medieval Spain: The Story of Carrión, which explores the urbanization and artistic production of Carrión de los Condes, a prominent medieval city along the pilgrimage the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. She also employs digital technologies to expand the means by which we study and present art objects and monuments. Her web resource RomanesqueSpain provides digital access to sites in northern Spain through three-dimensional modeling and gigapixel photography, and her 2020 Art of Pilgrimage course produced the website The Pilgrim’s Guide, a guide for the modern-day digital pilgrim. Her research has been supported by fellowships from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fulbright Foundation, and Casa de Velázquez.
Departments and Programs
ART 105 Introduction to the History of Art and Architecture
ART 221 Islamic Art and Architecture
ART 220 Medieval Art and Architecture
ART 320 Seminar in Medieval Art. Special Topics:
- Angels, Demons and Beasts: Romanesque and Gothic Art
- Saintly Bodies and Holy Shrines: The Art and Architecture of Medieval Pilgrimage
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