Dr Shelley J Hales

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

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

I have two main areas of research interest that cross the disciplines of Classics, Art History and Archaeology. The first is the role of art in expressing and forging identities in the Roman world. My first book explored domestic art and architecture and I have just completed a monograph on the prominence of Aphrodite's mirror and Dionysos's mask in provincial domestic and personal art and objects, considering how both motifs contribute to discourses on identity and recognition in the empire.  

My other interest is in the reception of Roman domestic art and architecture, particularly from Pompeii, since the eighteenth century. I have published and spoken on a number of 19th century full scale reconstructions of Pompeian houses and also ran, with Nic Earle, a project concerned with exploring Victorian reconstruction through the medium of digital visualisation in virtual environments. My work on the resurrection of Pompeii has led to a fascination with the morbid aspect of archaeology and I am just embarking on a project that will investigate the interrelations between 19th century attitudes towards and rituals around death and the dead and the reception and practices of classical archaeology at that time.


Room 1.01, 34 Tyndall's Park Road

(0)117 331 0817 shelley.hales@bristol.ac.uk

Consultation hours


Research Supervision

I am interested in supervising projects on any aspect of Roman art and architecture and its reception or on topics which use material culture to explore issues of identity in the Roman world. I have supervised recent PhD dissertations on the Roman villa in Italy; the Classical Revival in nineteenth century Italian painting; the history of scholarship of the Hellenistic Baroque; the materiality of early Christian cult and belief; the reception of Nero; images of Priapus; the depiction of gender in the mosaics of Roman Iberia; the grave stelai of Terenouthis.


Undergraduate Teaching

I teach all the art and architecture units on offer in the department, two of which are core to the Classical Studies programme. I also regularly teach a number of thematic, interdisciplinary third year units such as Pompeii, which explores the impact that the city has had on creative and intellectual imaginations since its rediscovery in the mid eighteenth century. In addition to classroom teaching, I lead a field trip to Italy during the Easter break each year.


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