Professor Debra Strickland
Professor of Medieval Art History
I am an art historian concerned with the foundational presence of non-humans and non-Christians in late medieval and early modern visual cultures grounded in pejorative ideological traditions, on which I have published widely. My best-known books are Medieval Bestiaries: Text, Image, Ideology (1995) and Saracens, Demons, and Jews: Making Monsters in Medieval Art (2003). I sit on the Editorials Board of Studies in Iconography (journal) and I am a member of the Advisory Board for Monsters and Marvels: Alterity in the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds (monograph series). I welcome PhD thesis projects in any of my research areas, including those with a medical humanities dimension. Topics I am currently supervising include late medieval images of the wounds of Christ, representations of the ‘occupied womb’ in late medieval German art, and the paradoxical realism of monsters in early modern ‘wonder books’.
Research and Teaching Interests
My first publication, ‘Transplanted Medicine: Colonial Mexican Herbals of the Sixteenth Century’, Res 17/18 (1989), pp. 30-53, won the 1989 Jerry Stannard Memorial Prize for the best article on materia medica. I examine artistic representations of syphilis in early modern art in The Epiphany of Hieronymus Bosch: Imagining Antichrist and Others from the Middle Ages to the Reformation (London: Harvey Miller, 2016); and my new book in progress (The Monsters of Hieronymus Bosch) will explore early modern monsters and perceptions of monstrosity from artistic, medical, and disability perspectives.
- Queering Christ’s Wounds in Late Medieval European Texts, Images and Performance, and in Queer Extreme Body Art in Western Modernity
- The Motif of the Wound as a Well in Art, Literature and Devotional Practice in Late Medieval England
- The Paradoxical Realism of Monsters in Early Modern Printed Images
- Death and the Art of Dying in the Renaissance North (Art History, MLitt)
- Monsters, Women, and Jews: Medieval Art and Identity (Art History, senior honours)