Associate Professor of Religion

David Albertson

Research Interests: Medieval Christian contemplatives and mystical theology; non-scholastic medieval philosophy; vernacular women’s mysticism; iconicity and premodern Christian visual culture; Christian uses of classical traditions from antiquity to Renaissance; history of Platonisms.

Classes in Spring 2021: REL 125: Introduction to Christianity: Antiquity to 1500

Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures & History 

Bettine Birge

Professor Birge researches the social, cultural, and legal history of China and Inner Asia from the 10th to 14th centuries, with a focus on the impact of the Mongol invasions and the incorporation of China into the Mongol World Empire. Her interests include ethnic identity, gender, social-status, and legal developments within the poly-ethnic society of Mongol-Yuan China (1260-1368).

In Spring ’21, she will be teaching:

EALC 130 East Asian Ethical Thought (course is part of the Sustainability Across the Curriculum Pilot Program at USC)

HIST/EALC 377 Law and Society in Premodern China and Japan

Dean’s Professor of Religion & Professor of History

Lisa M. Bitel

Fellow, Medieval Academy of America

Professor Bitel works on earliest medieval Europe, primarily Britain & Ireland; pre-modern religions, primarily Christianity and the religious supernatural (including saints,  visions, etc.); material culture & landscapes; and gender.

In Spr 2021 she is teaching REL 401 (Senior seminar, theme: Material Religions); REL 371: The Religious Supernatural. Both courses contain more than 50% pre-modern materials & topics.

In AY 21-22 she will be on research leave.

Assistant Professor, Department of Classics

Frederic Clark

Frederic Clark is a cultural and intellectual historian who specializes in the afterlife of classical antiquity in medieval and early modern Europe. His research examines how the reception of the ancient past has informed—and continues to inform—practices of humanistic scholarship, in everything from notions of forgery and criticism to conceptions of historical time and periodization.

Prof. Clark is on leave in Spring 2020, but a recent graduate course (Fall 2019) that he looks forward to offering again in the future is “Classics 515: Topics in Classical Scholarship–Classical Reception, Late Antiquity to Early Modernity.”


Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam Hebrew Union College

Reuven Firestone

Senior Fellow, Center for Religion & Civic Culture
University of Southern California

Professor Firestone’s field is early Islam and the Qur’an, and the intertextual and historical relations between early Islam/Muslims with Judaism/Jews, and less so with Christianity/Christians. He also writes a lot about “holy war” in the scriptural monotheisms.

Spring 2021: On Leave


Associate Professor of Religion

Cavan Concannon

Prof. Concannon is a specialist in early Christianity, classical archaeology, and ancient Mediterranean history. His research focuses on ancient discourses of ethnicity and trade, travel, and networks. He also studies the reception of ancient literature in modernity.

Associate Professor of Classics and History

Christelle Fischer-Bovet

Christelle Fischer-Bovet specializes in the social and cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean from Alexander the Great to the Romans, with a particular focus on Greco-Roman Egypt and on topics such as imperialism, ethnic and cultural interaction, social unrest, and ancient Greek historiography. Her first book, Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt (CUP) combines papyrological and epigraphic evidence with social theory to examine the role of the army in Hellenistic Egypt.

In the Spring she will be teaching HIST/CLAS 101 State and Society in the Ancient World and a GESM called Cleopatra’s World. Next year she will be teaching a graduate seminar on the Ptolemaic empire (323-30 BC).

Associate Professor of Art History, East Asian Languages and Cultures and Religion

Sonya Lee

Dr. Sonya Lee is Associate Professor of Chinese Art and Visual Cultures at the University of Southern California, where she holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Art History, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Religion. She is also the director of East Asian Studies Center at the university. A specialist in religious art and architecture of China and Central Asia, Dr. Lee has published widely on the material culture of Chinese Buddhism. Her research interests also include material culture of the ancient Silk Road, art and ecology, Asian art collecting, and heritage conservation.

Associate Professor of Religion, History, and Law

Jessica Marglin

Jessica’s research focuses on the history of Jews and Muslims in North Africa and the Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on law.  She is currently working on the trans-Mediterranean legal disputes over the estate of a Tunisian Jew who died in Italy in 1873.

Classes in Spring 2021: Religion 625: Colloquium on Global Islam, which will largely focus on the legal history of the pre-modern Middle East.

Associate Professor of History

Maya Maskarinec

Maya Maskarinec is a historian of late antique and early medieval Europe and the Mediterranean with an emphasis on the city of Rome as an interlocutor across geographical, cultural and chronological divides. Her research interests include urban history, hagiography and historiography, legal history, and the afterlife of Rome’s Christian and classical heritage.

Associate Professor, School of Religion

James Mchugh

Research interests: Ancient and early medieval Indian history and religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism; Sanskrit and Pali texts; history of smell and perfumery; Indian medicine, Ayurveda; history of drugs and alcohol.

Gordon L. MacDonald Chair in History and Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures

Joan Piggott

Research interests: A premier Japan historian, Professor Piggott is an expert on premodern Japan and East Asia. Her specialties include the development of kingship, church-state relations, land tenure, and family and marriage in Japan. Her seminal study, The Emergence of Japanese Kingship, combined written records with archaeological evidence to illuminate the reigns of seven Japanese monarchs between the third and eighth centuries. While at Cornell she organized a series of workshops on reading and translating kambun (Sino-Japanese), and those workshops are continuing at USC.

USC Associates Professor in Art History and Professor of Art History and History

John Pollini

Resesarch Interests: Various aspects of Roman portraiture, religion, imperial cult, especially of the Augustan and Julio-Claudian period; Christian destruction and desecration of images and temples of classical antiquity.

Professor of Art History

Lisa Pon

Lisa Pon specializes in early modern European art, architecture, and material culture, focusing on the mobilities of art, artistic authority and collaboration, and the Renaissance concept of copia or abundance.

Classes in Spring 2021:

AHIS 512:  Renaissance Things (graduate seminar)

AHIS 488:  Topics in Conservation:  Renaissance Materiality (undergraduate Maymester course)

Dr. Melissa L. Miller

Melissa L. Miller

Head Faculty Librarian of the Hoose Library of Philosophy | Humanities Librarian

Subject Specialist | Collections, Teaching & Research

Philosophy | Religion | Anthropology| Linguistics | Comparative Literature |History of Science & Technology

USC Libraries | University of Southern California

Assistant Professor, Department of Classics

Alexandre Roberts

Professor Roberts is an intellectual historian of Byzantium and the medieval Middle East, with a particular interest in the adaptation, appropriation, and continued development of ancient philosophical and scientific traditions by medieval Christians, Muslims, Jews, and others. He is currently working on the Greek and Arabic alchemical tradition and its place within the broader history of science.

Professor Roberts will be on leave Spring 2021. In the Fall 2021, he is tentatively planning to teach a graduate course on Greek Paleography (an introduction to the study of Greek manuscripts)

Associate Professor of Art History and Classics

Ann Marie Yasin

Ann Marie Yasin specializes in Roman and late antique architecture and material culture and holds a joint appointment in the departments of Art History and Classics. Her particular research interests include experience and perception of the built environment, decorative and epigraphic landscapes, commemoration, urbanism, material culture of religion, and long histories of display and reception of sites and artifacts. She received her BA in Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan and her MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago. Before joining the faculty at USC Yasin taught for three years at Northwestern University. Her research has been supported by residential fellowships at the American Academy in Rome and at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies. She was named a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for 2018-19

Curatorial Research Associate of European Art at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Sabina Zonno, PhD

Associate at USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute and UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Sabina Zonno is a postdoctoral scholar specializing in Medieval and Renaissance European illuminated manuscripts with a special interest in digital humanities. Since 2020, she has been co-directing with USC Professor Lynn Dodd the twice NEH-funded project The Global Virtual Access Library (GVAL) (link to, a pioneering digital humanities project meant to provide global access to Medieval and Renaissance illustrated books in embodied, immersive, and interactive virtual reality experiences.  

Danielle Mihram, Ph.D.

Danielle Mihram

University Librarian | USC Libraries | Reference and Instruction Librarian, Leavey Library

Subject Specialist | Collections, Teaching & Research, | French & Italian | USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Digital Humanities Liaison | USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Distinguished Faculty Fellow | USC Center for Excellence in Teaching

Library Faculty Resource person for the following topics:

Medieval Studies and Research; Digital Humanities; Manuscript Studies; Project Building and Leadership.

Medieval Studies and Research:

The Digital Humanities:

USC Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts:

Research Guides currently in preparation:

Early Modern Studies and Renaissance – France  

Early Modern Studies and Renaissance – Italy.

Assistant Professor

Luke Fidler

Luke A. Fidler is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California. He specializes in the art of early- and high-medieval Europe, with an emphasis on the German-speaking lands, Scandinavia, and the British Isles. His first book project presents the conceptual framework of “coercive form” to describe how ambitious experiments in twelfth-century sculpture accompanied and extended novel modes of political subjugation in, and along the northern edges of, the Holy Roman Empire.