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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 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. (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. (2014). Ottonian Art. Oxford Bibliographies in Medieval Studies. Revised July 2016.
  • 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. (2008). The Abbatial Effigies at Quedlinburg: A Convent’s Identity Reconfigured. Gesta 47(2), 147–169
  • Blough, K. (2007). Review of Jutta Frings and Jan Gerchow, eds., Krone und Schleier: Kunst aus mittelalterlichen Frauenklöstern, Studies in Iconography 28, 281–284.

Selected Recent Presentations

  • “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
  • “The Imperial Stone: Porphyry and the Genesis of the Ottonian Empire,” International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England, July 9, 2014.
  • “Tomb Sculptures as Vehicles of Communal Identity in the Convent of St. Servatius at Quedlinburg,” Forty-Ninth International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 11, 2014.
  • “Girl Talk: Images of Learned Women in an Early Medieval Monastary,” Eighty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 14–16, 2011.

Selected Recent Awards

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

Contact Karen Blough

Office: Myers Fine Arts 211
Phone: (518) 564-2468
Email: [email protected]