Professor Beth Williamson

B.A.(Oxon.), M.A., Ph.D.(Lond.)

  • BS8 1TB

19982020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Religious devotional practice, especially in relation to visual and aural culture
  • Relationships between liturgy, devotion and visual culture
  • Late Medieval Italian and English visual and material culture
  • Forms and functions of religious imagery
  • Materiality and media; Sensory and bodily experience

From September 2020 Prof. Williamson will be engaged in a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on English late medieval devotional culture, entitled 'Describing Devotion'.

 

Contact

Office 2.30, top floor, 9 Woodland Road, 0117 954 6047,  beth.williamson@bristol.ac.uk

Career and Training

Beth Williamson studied at Merton College, Oxford (History), and then at the Courtauld Institute in London  (MA, History of Art; PhD, History of Art). Before joining the University of Bristol in 1998 she taught at a number of institutions, including the Courtauld Institute, University College, London, and the University of East Anglia.

 

Selected publications

Recent and forthcoming monographs and articles have focussed on Italian visual culture: The Madonna of Humility: development, dissemination and reception (2009) explores the iconography and development of the image of the Virgin seated on the ground, the assimilation and translation of the image between different cultural milieux, and its function and reception. Reliquary Tabernacles in Late Medieval Italy: Image, Relic, and Material Culture (2020) is a study of a group of tabernacles from fourteenth-century Italy which combined images and relics in a novel way, with a variety of media and materials working together to create a new type of devotional image.

Other publications (including an article 'Sensory Experience in Medieval Devotion: Sound and Vision, Invisibility and Silence'), have explored issues around interiority, and materiality and immateriality of images, visibility and invisibility, audible and inaudible music.

 

Research Supervision

Beth Williamson is interested in supervising students undertaking research in any of the areas listed above, and in later medieval art and architecture more generally. Currently she supervises students working particularly on the relationships between visual and aural culture.

 

Teaching

Prof. Williamson teaches across the full range of BA, MA and postgraduate research programmes. She teaches specialist units on religious visual culture, often including materials and methodologies from musicology and sound studies. Special units include: 'Early Italian Art', 'Northern Renaissance Art', and 'Spectacle and Ceremony'. More general medieval teaching includes: 'Introduction to Medieval Art' and 'Art at the Courts of Europe'. She also contributes to 'Histories and Theories of Art', 'Research Issues in Art History', and 'Histories, Theories and Critical Interpretations of Art'. 

Prof. Williamson also teaches on various widening participation and access courses, including Access to Bristol and the Bristol Foundation Year in Arts and Humanities.

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Projects

Research Output

Sensory Experience in Medieval Devotion: Sound and Vision, Invisibility and Silence

Williamson, B. A., 1 Jan 2013, In : Speculum. 88:1, p. 1-43 44 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • 32 Citations (Scopus)
  • Creative Dislocation: an Experiment in Collaborative Historical Research

    Pooley, W. G., McLellan, J., Hanna, E., Dudley, M., Cole, T., Williamson, B. & Bickers, R., 20 Sep 2020, In : History Workshop Journal. 90, p. 1-25

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Activities

    49th International Congress on Medieval Studies

    Beth A Williamson (Chair)

    11 May 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Dorothy Ford Wiley Crossroads Lecture, University of North Carolina

    Beth A Williamson (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    27 Mar 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    48th International Congress on Medieval Studies

    Beth A Williamson (Speaker)

    11 May 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference