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Cathleen Fleck, Ph.D.

Department Chair
Fine and Performing Arts

Associate Professor
Art History

Courses Taught

Introduction to Western Art; Art of Cathedrals and Kings; Art of Pilgrimage and Crusades; Art and the Body; The Art of Jerusalem and Three Faiths: Past and Present; Islamic Art and Society; Northern Renaissance Art; Art History Seminar; Research Methods


Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
M.A., Johns Hopkins University
B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests

Fleck's current projects encompass her various interests involving the art of the Mediterranean.  One project is a book entitled Reimagining Jerusalem’s Architectural Identities in the Later Middle Ageswhich examines how Christians and Muslims in the Crusader era of the Middle Ages (1187-1382) understood Jerusalem’s history and used the representation of its monuments as instruments of power, persuasion, consolation, and spirituality. The study moves back and forth across the Mediterranean to look at representations of Jerusalem and how they express shifting Christian and Islamic religious concepts. She is also working on essays for collections of essays regarding crusader art and architecture. Her other interests involve the medieval city of Naples. She is co-organizer of a conference (2022) called “Gateways to Medieval Naples,” co-sponsored by The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas / Centro per la Storia dell’Arte e dell’Architettura delle Città Portuali, Naples and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. 


In addition, she is co-leading a project at SLU entitled Artful Observation that engages with pre-medical undergraduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences and Physical Therapy in the Doisy College of Health Sciences. We have collaborated with their faculty to establish curricular and research programs based on evidence-based methods about training with the visual arts to help students develop their attentiveness, descriptive skills, individual and collective awareness, and empathetic capabilities.   


Her interests include:  

  • Late Medieval European and Islamic art and architecture of the Mediterranean, including arts of Naples, Rome, Avignon, Cairo, and Jerusalem  
  • Crusader art and cultural exchange 
  • History and representations of Medieval Jerusalem and Rome 
  • Medieval court art 
  • Medieval European and Islamic manuscripts 
  • Pedagogy in the arts

Publications and Media Placements

  • "Art of an Emblematic King: Robert I of Naples as King of Jerusalem in the Fourteenth Century." In New Horizons in Trecento Italian Arteds. Bryan C. Keene and Karl Whittington. Trecento Forum, 247-261. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2020.  
  • "Signs of Leadership: Buildings of Jerusalem in a Crusader Relief." In Crusading in Art, Thought, and Willeds. Anne Romine, Ben Halliburton and Matthew E. Parker. Medieval Mediterranean Series, 37-67. Leiden: Brill, 2018.  
  • "Review of Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People under Heaven, eds. Barbara Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition 2016 (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016)." Jewish Quarterly Review 108, no. 4 (2018): 562-568. 
  • "The Crusader Loss of Jerusalem in the Eyes of a Thirteenth-Century Virtual Pilgrim," in The Crusades and Visual Culture, Eds. Laura Whatley, April Morris, Susanna Throop, and Elizabeth Lapina (Farnham, Surrey, England/Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, forthcoming 2015
  • "The Luxury Riccardiana Psalter in the Thirteenth Century: A Nun's Prayerbook?" Viator 46/1 (2015), 135-160.
  • "Crusader Spolia in Medieval Cairo. The Portal of the Complex of Sultan Ḥasan," Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies, I/2 (Dec. 2014), 249-300. 
  • "'Vergine madre pia': Text and Image in a Medieval Psalter in a Renaissance Dominican Convent," Source: Notes in the History of Art, XXXIV/2 (2015), 5-13.
  • The Clement Bible at the Medieval Courts of Naples and Avignon: A Story of Papal Power, Royal Prestige, and Patronage. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2010.
  • "The rise of the court artist: Cavallini and Giotto in 14th-c. Naples," Published in Art History (2008): 460-83 and in Art and Architecture in the Kingdom of Naples, 1266-1713: New Approaches. Eds. C. Warr and J. Elliott. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010: 38-61.
  • "Seeking Legitimacy: Art and Manuscripts for the Popes in Avignon from 1378-1417," A Companion to the Great Western Schism. Eds. Joëlle Rollo-Koster and Thomas Izbicki. Brill, 2009: 239-302.

Honors and Awards

Feminae Women and Gender Index, Article of the Month, Aug. 2006: For “Visual and Textual Literacy in the Frescoes at Santa Maria Donnaregina in Angevin Naples.” In The Church of Santa Maria Donna Regina: Art, Iconography and Patronage in Fourteenth-Century Naples. Eds. J. Elliott and C. Warr. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2004: 109-128.

Professional Organizations and Associations

Community Work and Service

Regular volunteer at local middle and high school.