East Christian and Byzantine art; Coptic art; medieval Mediterranean studies; the Global Middle Ages; postcolonial theory; art and war.
Ph.D. University of Michigan
B.A. Lafayette College
Heather Badamo writes on the arts of Byzantium and the East Christian world. Her research focuses on the intersection of Christian and Islamic visual culture, in particular the circulation of objects across the frontier zones of the eastern Mediterranean, with the related dissemination and transformation of artistic forms, ideas, and beliefs. Primary academic interests include theories of cultural exchange, philosophies of religious violence, art in war, and visual strategies for communal self-fashioning. Other interests are medieval image theory and the urban development of Cairo, and medieval North Africa. She conducts research in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Georgia, and Turkey. In 2005–2006, she participated in a conservation project led jointly by the American Research Center in Egypt and the Coptic Museum in Cairo.
Her book, entitled Saint George Between Empires: Image and Encounter in the Medieval East (Pennsylvania States University Press, 2023), investigates how different Christian and Muslim communities mobilized portraits of St. George to stake a claim to their place in a world of many faiths. It reveals how Franks, eastern Christians, and Muslims employed St. George to imagine sovereignty, orthodoxy, and communal belonging, blurring the boundaries between the foreign and the familiar, and transforming him into a universal hero. Her publications appear in The Medieval Globe, Gesta, and RES: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics. Her next book will consider the role medieval Coptic art and memory in the formation of communal identities.
Badamo’s research has received support from the Fulbright Foundation, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, DC, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and the University of California. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Michigan in 2011 and was a Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago from 2011-2015.
“Rethinking Coptic Art: The Allusive Aesthetics of a Thirteenth-Century Key,” RES 77/78 (forthcoming).
“Depicting Religious Combat in the Thirteenth-Century Program at the Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony at the Red Sea ,” Gesta 58.2 (2019): 157–181.
“Mobile Meanings: A Global Approach to a Medieval Dagger ,” The Medieval Globe 3.2 (2018): 149-76.
6B Art Survey II: Renaissance - Baroque
105C Medieval Architecture: From Constantine to Charlemagne
105O The Global Middle Ages: Visual and Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean
105P Introduction to Medieval Art and Architecture
186D Seminar in Medieval Architecture & Sculpture: History, War, and Representation
2019-2020 The Global Turn in Premodern Art History
2017-2018 Topics in Medieval Architecture and Sculpture
2015-2016 New Approaches to Crusader Art and Architecture: Visual Encounters and Cultural Exchange in the Frankish Levant