Sean Leatherbury


Sean Leatherbury

Assistant Professor, Art History

D.Phil., University of Oxford, 2012

M.Phil., University of Oxford, 2009

B.A., Yale University, 2006

Link to personal website:

Teaching Specialization: Ancient and Late Antique Art and Architecture

Courses Taught

Dr. Leatherbury teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on ancient and late antique art and architecture, including introductory surveys of Western art, courses on Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern art, and a range of upper-level and graduate courses. Recent upper-level courses include seminars on the art and archaeology of late antique Syria, late antique Syria, ancient art and text, and ancient and modern iconoclasm.

Areas of Research 

Dr. Leatherbury’s research focuses on Roman and late antique visual and material culture, and examines the relationship between art and text, issues of identity and geography (“regionalism,” “provincialism”), and the transformation of “minor art” (votives, gold-glass) from the Roman period to the early Middle Ages. Currently he is completing a monograph, Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity: Between Reading and Seeing, that considers the visual functions of texts inscribed within Christian, Jewish, and early Islamic buildings across the Mediterranean. With Dr. Susan Walker, Dr. Leatherbury also is completing the catalogue of the Wilshere Collection of gold-glass, sarcophagi and inscriptions from the catacombs in Rome, now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Additional projects include edited volumes on traveling artists in the late antique Mediterranean and on late antique art and identity, and articles and essays on late antique votives and Syrian mosaics. His research has been supported by residential fellowships at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, the Bard Graduate Center in New York, and the Kenyon Institute in Jerusalem, and by grants from the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics (ASPROM). Dr. Leatherbury is a Research Associate of the Monumental Art in the Christian and Early Islamic East project at Oxford (, and mosaics curator of Manar al-Athar (, an open-access multi-media resource for the study of the ancient and medieval Middle East.

Recent Accomplishments 

Selected recent publications include: 

Leatherbury, Sean V., “Textiles as ‘Gifts to God’ in Late Antiquity: The Evidence of Christian Altar Cloths,” in Cecilie Brøns and Marie-Louise Nosch (eds.), Textiles and Cult in the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford: Oxbow Press, in press, forthcoming December 2017)

Leatherbury, Sean V., “Sidonius’ Silvery Words: The Material Contexts of Roman Texts,” Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Inquiry 33, 1 (March 2017): 35-56

Leatherbury, Sean V., “Writing, Reading and Seeing Between the Lines: Framing Late Antique Inscriptions as Texts and Images,” in Michael Squire and Verity Platt (eds.), Framing the Visual in Greek and Roman Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 544-582

Leatherbury, Sean V., “Reading and Seeing Faith in Byzantium: The Sinai Inscription as Verbal and Visual ‘Text’” Gesta 55, 2 (Fall 2016): 133-156

Leatherbury, Sean V., “Competitive Sacrifice: Christian Visual Engagement with JewishSacrificial History and the Temple in Late Antique Arabia,” in Catherine Hezser and Uzi Leibner (eds.), Jewish Art in its Late Antique Context. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism Series (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck Verlag, 2016), 279-302

For Dr. Leatherbury’s full publication record, see

Faculty member at BGSU since 2015.