Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Duke University
The Dead Come to Town: Preaching, Burying, and Building in the Medieval City

Caroline Bruzelius, the Anne M. Cogan Professor of art and art history at Duke University, is a historian of medieval architecture who works on French and Italian buildings from the 12th to the 14th centuries. She has worked extensively on construction, the labor force, and issues of meaning and context for buildings in France and Italy.

During her fellowship, Bruzelius will complete a book on the architecture of the mendicant religious orders and the medieval city. This will mean completing research and writing about several areas, especially outdoor preaching and medieval burial, both of which inform the shape of buildings and the ways in which they were constructed. Her central argument is that the economic structure of the mendicant orders conditioned their construction projects, which were episodic and intermittent; buildings were designed as “hangars” for the interventions of lay patrons. Since the friars were an urban phenomenon, their impact on the cities they inhabited was significant: their large convents created tensions with neighbors, their burial practices stimulated the creation of urban cemeteries, and their “externalization” of the religious life to outdoor spaces made them an unavoidable feature of medieval life.

From 1994 to 1998, Bruzelius was the director of the American Academy in Rome. She has received numerous grants and fellowships—including from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts—and has published widely on medieval architecture in France and Italy. Bruzelius earned her PhD from Yale University.

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.
Photo by Tony Rinaldo