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Dr Clare Vernon

Lecturer in Medieval Art

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I am a specialist in the art and architecture of the medieval Mediterranean, with a particular focus on southern Italy. I am interested in cross-cultural exchange between the Byzantine, Latin and Islamic areas of the Mediterranean. My first book, From Byzantine to Norman Italy: Architecture and Civic Life in Medieval Bari will be published in 2021 by Bloomsbury. The book, which is based on my doctoral thesis, puts the city of Bari in a Mediterranean context, showing how Byzantine, Islamic and Romanesque designs were juxtaposed. It also explores the impact of the Norman conquest on southern Italian art.

As well as Birkbeck, I have taught at the universities of Cambridge, Southampton, Manchester and the Warburg Institute.

I am a subject editor for the interdisciplinary open access journal, Open Library of the Humanities and a member of the council of the British Archaeological Association.


Dressing for Succession in Norman Italy: The Mantle of King Roger II’, Al-Masaq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean, 31:1, 2019, pp.95-110.

Pseudo-Arabic and the Material Culture of the First Crusade in Norman Italy: The Sanctuary Mosaic at San Nicola in Bari’, The Open Library of the Humanities, 4(1):36, 2018, pp.1-43.

‘Review of Romanesque and the Mediterranean edited by J. McNeil and R. Bacile’, The Burlington Magazine, September 2018, pp.798-9.


Finding Islamic Culture in Christian Space, The Public Medievalist, 2017.


In 2019-20 I am teaching the following modules:

  • Artistic encounters in the medieval Mediterranean (Level 6)
  • Art and society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Level 5)
  • Research skills (MA)
  • The Arts: Perspectives and possibilities (Foundation Year).