My current research interests include medieval art, architecture and aesthetics, episodes of medievalism in Western art, British art, relationships between architecture, the decorative arts and the history of sexuality, and the historiography and theory of art history.
Before coming to Queen's as Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar, I held a permanent post at the University of London. Working on art in all media, I have published widely on medieval art, including a monograph Thirteenth-Century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy and Reform, studies of secular architecture and wall painting in the royal sphere, studies of architectural ornament and furniture, and an edited volume entitled Reading Gothic Architecture. My current work concerns the construction of the "Gothic" in the circle of Horace Walpole (1717-97), focusing in particular on their patronage of Gothic architecture, but also exploring its historiographical and literary manifestations. Locating their shared taste for the Gothic within the broadly homoerotic culture of Walpole's circle, this project explores relationships between the Gothic and the "modern styles" of the eighteenth century and contemporary changes in human sexuality and subjectivity. My work on these issues has been advanced by recent fellowships at Yale's Lewis Walpole Library and British Art Centre and a three year Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I have recently published essays from this project in the Art Bulletin, Architectural History, and the British Art Journal.
I am co-organizing (with Ayla Lepine) the 'Queer Gothic: Sexuality and Difference in British Art' session sponsored by the Historians of British Art at the College Art Association meeting in Chicago.
January 27, 2014
'Gothic Architecture, Sexuality, and Historiography in the Circle of Horace Walpole', Branner Forum Lecture, Columbia University
August 7, 2013
'What does sexuality have to do with the origins of the Gothic(k) Revival?' Plenary lecture at The 18th-Century Gothick Symposium at Oxford University.
February 14, 2013
'Gothic Architecture, Ornament and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole', Parallel Lines Converging: Art, Design and Fashion Histories (Historians of British Art Special Session), College Art Association Meeting, New York.
July 13, 2012
'Rereading the origins of the Gothic Revival: architecture and sexuality in the circle of Horace Walpole', New Directions in Gothic Revival Studies Worldwide, University of Kent, UK.
February 9 2012
'Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill and the Queerness of Gothic', Bowdoin College, Maine.
January 24 2012
'Reframing the Gothic Revival: Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill Villa, and the Sexualities of Gothic', Yale University, Department of the History of Art.
"'A Gothic Vatican of Greece and Rome': Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill, and the Narratives of Gothic", in Architecture and the Classical Tradition, from Pliny to Posterity. Tributes to Pierre du Prey, ed. Matthew M Reeve, New York: Harvey Miller (2014), 185-209. (Download PDF).
"Gothic Architecture, Sexuality and License at Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill", Art Bulletin XCV (Sept 2013), 411-39. (Download PDF).
"Dickie Bateman and the Gothicization of Old Windsor: Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole", Architectural History 56 (2013), 99-133. (Download PDF)
"Wall Painting and Sacred Space", The Cambridge History of Religious Architecture: the Middle Ages, ed by Stephen Murray, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2013.
"Of Druids, the Gothic, and the Origins of Architecture: the Garden Designs of William Stukeley", British Art Journal (December 2012), XIII: 3, 9-18. (Download PDF)
"Gothic", Studies in Iconography, (a special issue entitled Medieval Art History Today – Critical Terms, ed by Nina Rowe and Colum Hourihane) 33 (2012), 233-46 (Download PDF).
"Gothic Architecture and the Civilizing Process: The Great Hall in Thirteenth Century England", New Directions in Medieval Architectural History, eds. Abby McGehee, Rob Bork, and William Clark, Aldershot and New York: Ashgate, 2011, 93-112 (Download PDF).
"The Capital Sculpture of Wells Cathedral: Patrons, Masons, and the Margins of English Gothic Architecture", Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 163 (2010), 72-109 (Download PDF).
"The Painted Chamber at Westminster, Edward I, and the Crusade", Viator 37 (2006), 189-221 (Download PDF).
"Art, Liturgy, and Reform: Thirteenth-Century Painting at Salisbury Cathedral", Boydell and Brewer, Suffolk UK, 2008, (ISBN-13: 978-1843833314).
"Reading Gothic Architecture", Brepols, Turnhout and New York, 2008, (ISBN-13: 2503525369).
"Tributes to Pierre du Prey: Architecture and the Classical Tradition, from Pliny to Posterity", Harvey Miller, New York, 2014 (ISBN: 978-1-909400-12-2)