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Specializing in medieval Italian art and architecture, Kristen studies the intersection of European and Islamic visual culture in the Mediterranean basin during the medieval period. In her dissertation, "Crafting Nobility in Trecento Sicily: The Painted Ceiling of the Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri," she treats the seafront palace, which features the most intact cycle of late-medieval paintings on the island, as a case study with which to examine the later Crusades, the shifting place of minority groups and their languages, and religious devotion in southern Italy during the trecento.
Kristen has received a number of fellowships and grants, including the Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant (2014), Michelle Sicca Research Grant (2012), FLAS Fellowship (2010, 2011), and Kress Foundation Fellowship (2010). Forthcoming publications include, "The Question of Pseudo-Kufic: Acknowledging Sicily's Islamic Past on the Painted Ceiling of the Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri," Journal of Medieval Transcultural Studies, ed. Giuseppe Mandalà; “St. George and the Trinacrian Rebellion: Art in Sicily during the Later Crusades,” in the proceedings of the Andrew Ladis Trecento Conference (New Orleans, LA 10-12 November 2016), ed. Holly Flora and Sarah Wilkins (Brepols); and “Religious Architecture in Islamic and Norman Sicily” in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of World Religious Architecture, ed. Richard Etlin (University of Cambridge Press). She is currently in the second year of the three-year position as a Pre-Doctoral Research Assistant (Wissenschaftliche Assistentin) in the Department of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz-Max-Planck-Institut. Kristen received a B.A. (2009) at the Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia, PA) with a double major in Art History and Psychology.
- History of Art and Visual Studies