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Dr. Karen Blough

Professor of Art

Karen Blough joined the SUNY Plattsburgh art faculty in 1999. Prof. Blough received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1995 with a doctoral thesis entitled Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana Codex Barberini latinus 711: A Late Tenth-Century Illustrated Gospel Lectionary from Reichenau. She has regularly presented her work on early medieval manuscript illumination and female abbatial patronage in the Middle Ages at several professional conferences, including among others the Medieval Academy, the St. Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, the International Medieval Congress at Leeds (Great Britain), and the Annual International Conference on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo (Michigan). Prof Blough has recently served as a peer reviewer for the Medieval Feminist Forum, for the journals Gesta and Speculum and for the Haskins Society Journal, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ashgate Publishing, and Wadsworth Publishing. She teaches courses on ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, book art, Latin American art, and, as the first recipient of the Rabin Fellowship in Judaic Perspectives, Jewish art in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.


  • Ph.D., Rutgers University

Teaching Areas

  • Ancient Art
  • Medieval Art
  • Renaissance Art
  • Jewish Art
  • Latin American Art
  • Art of the Book

Areas of Specialization

  • Medieval art
  • Manuscript illumination
  • Ivory carving
  • Metalwork
  • Issues of patronage

Recent Publications

  • Blough, K. (2018). “Szent Móric lándzsája mint a pogányság elleni hadjárat része az Ottó-korban,” Világ- Történet 2018/2: 287-310 (Hungarian translation of “The Lance of St. Maurice as a component of the early Ottonian campaign against paganism”)
  • Blough, K. (2017). Review of Jennifer P. Kingsley, The Bernward Gospels: Art. Memory, and the Episcopate in Medieval Germany, caa.reviews (http://dx.doi.org/10.3202/caa.reviews.2017.33)
  • Blough, K. (2016). The Lance of St Maurice as a component of the early Ottonian campaign against paganism. Early Medieval Europe, 24(3), 338–361
  • Blough, K. (2015). Implications for Female Monastic Literacy in the Reliefs from St. Liudger’s at Werden. In V. Blanton, V. O’Mara, & P. Stoop (Eds.), Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe: The Kansas City Dialogue (151–169), Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Blough, K. (2010). “Ottonian Art.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Ed. Paul E. Szarmach. New York: Oxford University Press (www.oxfordbibliographiesonline.com; ongoing publication from June, 2010; revised July, 2016; DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0066)

Selected Recent Presentations

  • “A House of Holiness at the Ends of the Earth: Medieval Memories in the Convents of New France,” International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds (UK), July 5, 2018
  • “Staging the Middle Ages of St. Servatius at Quedlinburg,” International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds (UK), July 6, 2017
  • “An Avenue to Glory: Women and Their Books in the First Darmstadt Haggadah,” Dutch Studies Colloquium on Women and the Book in the Germanic World, University of Pennsylvania, March 31, 2018
  • “The Body’s Here, the Tomb’s There, and the Effigy’s behind that Pier: Necropolitics at Medieval Quedlinburg,” 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 15, 2016
  • “Family Ties: Heraldic Imagery on Abbatial Effigies at Quedlinburg,” 91st Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, Boston, Massachusetts, February 26, 2016

Selected Recent Awards

  • SUNY Plattsburgh Individual Development Award
  • SUNY Plattsburgh Winkel Faculty Development Award
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend
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