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PDF icon Curriculum Vitae

Robert Ousterhout (Ph.D. University of Illinois) has taught in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania since 2007.  Previously he was Professor of Architectural History at the University of Illinois, where he taught for more than twenty years. A recognized specialist in Byzantine architecture, his research focuses on the documentation and interpretation of the vanishing architectural heritage of the eastern Mediterranean. His current fieldwork concentrates on Byzantine architecture, monumental art, and urbanism in Constantinople, Cappadocia, and Jerusalem. Since 2011 he has co-directed the “Cappadocia in Context” graduate seminar, a summer field school for Koç University.

At Pennsylvania, Ousterhout served as Director of the Center for Ancient Studies 2008-16.  He has been a Fellow in residence at Dumbarton Oaks and is currently serving as Senior Fellow. He has also been both President of U.S. National Committee for Byzantine Studies and of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America. At Illinois Ousterhout was honored as University Scholar (1992-95), Outstanding Faculty in the College of Fine and Applied Arts (1991, 2002), Associate at the Institute of Advanced Study (1993-4, 2006), and he received their Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.

Research Interests

Byzantine architecture and monumental art. Constantinople, Cappadocia, Jerusalem.

Selected Publications

Master Builders of Byzantium (2nd paperback edition, University of Pennsylvania Museum Publications, 2008, with translations in Russian and Turkish).

A Byzantine Settlement in Cappadocia, Dumbarton Oaks Studies 42 (2nd revised, paperback edition, Washington, D.C., 2011)

Kariye Camii, Yeniden/The Kariye Camii Reconsidered, edited, with Holger A. Klein and Brigitte Pitarakis (Istanbul: Istanbul Research Institute, 2011)

Osman Hamdi Bey and the Americans: Archaeology, Diplomacy, Art. Exhibition Catalogue (Istanbul: Pera Museum, 2011), edited, with Renata Holod

Approaches to Architecture and Its Decoration: Festschrift for Slobodan Ćurčić (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), ed. with M. Johnson and A. Papalexandrou

Architecture of the Sacred: Space, Ritual, and Experience from Classical Greece to Byzantium (Cambridge University Press, 2012), ed. with Bonna D. Wescoat

Palmyra 1885: The Wolfe Expedition and the Photographs of John Henry Haynes, with B. Anderson (Istanbul: Cornucopia, 2016)

John Henry Haynes: Archaeologist and Photographer in the Ottoman Empire 1881-1900 (2nd revised edition, Istanbul: Cornucopia, 2016)

Visualizing Community: Art Material Culture, and Settlement in Byzantine Cappadocia, Dumbarton Oaks Studies 46 (Washington, D.C., 2017)

Courses Taught

Arth 101 Prehistory to Renaissance: Art History before 1400

Arth 301 Undergraduate Seminar: Architecture and Identity

Arth 247 Eastern Medieval Architecture

Arth 730 Graduate Seminar: the Arts of Cappadocia

Arth 742 Graduate Seminar: Form and Meaning in Medieval Architecture

Arth 744 Graduate Seminar: the Arts of Constantinople