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

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 the “minor arts” (votives, textiles, silver vessels, gold-glass, jewelry) from the Roman period to the early Middle Ages. His first monograph, Inscribing Faith in Late Antiquity: Between Reading and Seeing (Routledge, in press), considers the visual functions of texts inscribed within Christian, Jewish, and early Islamic buildings across the Mediterranean. Additional projects include a book project on the mosaics of Roman and late antique Syria in their cultural and regional context; edited volumes on traveling artists in the late antique Mediterranean and on late antique art and identity; and articles and essays on iconoclasm and/as repair, the visual culture of lead coffins from Roman Lebanon, wall mosaics as sites of cultural negotiation, and late antique votives. His research has been supported by residential fellowships at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, the Bard Graduate Center in New York, and the Council for British Research in the Levant, 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., “Framing Late Antique Texts as Monuments: The Tabula Ansata between Sculpture and Mosaic,” in Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic, and Edmund V. Thomas (eds.), The Materiality of Text: Placements, Presences and Perceptions of Inscribed Text in Classical Antiquity, Brill Studies in Greek and Roman Epigraphy 11 (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 380-404

   Leatherbury, Sean V., “Early Christian Wall Mosaics and the Creation of Sacred Space,” in Robin M. Jensen and Mark Ellison (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art and Architecture (London: Routledge, 2018)

   Leatherbury, Sean V., “Picturing Prayers: The Iconography of the Wilshere Gold-glass Collection,” in Susan Walker, with Sean Leatherbury, David Rini, et al., Saints and Salvation: Gold-glass, Sarcophagi, and Inscriptions in the Wilshere Collection (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum Press, 2017)

   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, 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<>

   For Dr. Leatherbury’s full publication record, see Faculty member at BGSU since 2015.