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Dr Clare Vernon

MA (Cantab) in Modern & Medieval Languages, MPhil in History of Art, PhD in History of Art
Lecturer in Medieval History and Archaeology

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 212
27 Russell Square

Twitter: @drclarevernon


  • I work on the history of the medieval Mediterranean. My research is focuses on the built environment and visual culture in southern Italy from the tenth to the twelfth centuries.
  • I joined the department of History, Archaeology and Classics in 2017, having previously worked at the Warburg Institute, the University of Southampton and the History of Art department here at Birkbeck.
  • I am a sub-editor for the open access journal, theĀ Open Library of the Humanities.

Research and teaching

  • Research interests
  • Broadly speaking my research deals with the cultural history of the medieval Mediterranean. I am interested in the connectivity of the Mediterranean world and how people from different areas of the Mediterranean interacted through trade, crusade, pilgrimage, war and cultural exchange. I do this by looking predominantly at the south of Italy during the Byzantine and Norman periods (tenth to twelfth centuries).
  • I am currently working on two articles about the function of medieval textiles. The first looks at the motif of pseudo-Arabic (Arabic which is not legible), how it was transmitted around the Mediterranean, often via precious textiles and how the first crusade may have changed the patterns of transmission and reception of the motif. The second is a reinterpretation of the royal mantle of the kings of Sicily.
  • I am also working on my first book, provisionally entitled, Building the Norman Conquest of Southern Italy, which will address the question, how did the Norman conquest change urban communities? It will look at urbanism, civic identity and architecture.
  • Teaching interests
  • I teach the following modules:
  • Building the Middle Ages: Architecture and Urbanism (BA, level 6)
  • From Ancient to Medieval Societies (BA, level 5)
  • The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval (MA)

Professional membership

  • The British Archaeological Association
  • The Italian Art Society
  • The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies