Ann Marie Yasin

Associate Professor of Art History and Classics
Ann Marie Yasin
Pronouns She / Her / Hers Email Office THH 355 Office Phone (213) 740-3687

Research & Practice Areas

Roman, Late Antique, and Early Byzantine architecture and material culture; temporality and the built environment; ancient urbanism; monuments and commemoration; sacred landscapes and material culture of religion; Roman and late antique Italy, North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Middle East


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.

Yasin 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.

Yasin’s writing on social and political dimensions of sacred architecture and art includes her first book, Saints and Church Spaces in the Late Antique Mediterranean: Architecture, Cult, and Community (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and more recent studies on memory and sacred landscapes, spatiality and perception of devotional graffiti, and architectural frameworks of early Christian relic installations.

Her current book project, Re-Building Histories: Architectural Temporality from Augustus to Justinian, investigates correlations between architectural restoration and notions of continuity, change, monumentality and ephemerality from the first to sixth centuries CE. It analyzes cultural practices such as the literary, epigraphic, and visual representations of architectural destruction and renewal, the selective restaging of antiquities and architectural fragments, and patrons’ appropriation of earlier sites and commemorative forms to explore how the fabrics of cities gave palpable shape to temporal patterns and ruptures.

Yasin teaches undergraduate courses on Greek, Roman, and late antique art and archaeology as well as methodological introductions to the study of material culture and comparative seminars on ancient and modern cityscapes. At the graduate level, she teaches courses on Roman material culture and built environments as well as professionalization seminars on teaching and on academic writing. Recent graduate seminars include Timescapes of the Premodern World; The Material World of the Romans (using the Getty Villa collection); Building and Displaying Ancient Rome (taught on site in Rome); Art, Ritual and Religion in the Roman World; and Late Antique Cityscapes.  All of her courses seek to help students develop tools for critical analysis of the visual and architectural landscape and to gain perspective on our world through cross-cultural comparison with the past. 


  • Ph.D. Art History, University of Chicago, 5/2002
  • M.A. Art History, University of Chicago, 12/1995
  • A.B. Classical Archaeology, University of Michigan, 4/1993
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 05/2009 –
    • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California, 08/2005 – 05/2009
    • Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, 09/2002 – 07/2005
  • Research Specialties

    Roman, Late Antique, and Early Byzantine architecture and material culture; temporality and the built environment; ancient urbanism; monuments and commemoration; sacred landscapes and material culture of religion; Roman and late antique Italy, North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Middle East

  • Book

    • Richard A. Etlin, Ann Marie Yasin, John Beldon Scott, Patrick Quinn, Stephen Murray (Ed.). (2022). The Cambridge Guide to the Architecture of Christianity, 2 vols. Cambridge University Press. Table of Contents
    • Yasin, A. (2009). Saints and Church Spaces in the Late Antique Mediterranean: Architecture, Cult and Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press catalogue page (with book excerpts)

    Book Chapters

    • Yasin, A. (2017). “Renovation and the Early Byzantine Church: Staging Past and Prayer” in Prayer and Worship in Eastern Christianities, 5th to 11th Centuries. pp. 89-115. London: Routledge.
    • Yasin, A. (2017). “The Pilgrim and the Arch: Channeling Movement and Transforming Experience at Late Antique Holy Sites” in Excavating Pilgrimage: Archaeological Approaches to Sacred Travel and Movement in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East. pp. 166-86. London: Routledge.
    • Yasin, A. (2016). “Beyond Spolia: Architectural Memory and Adaptation in the Churches of Late Antique North Africa,” in North Africa under Byzantium and early Islam. pp. 215-36. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks.
    • Yasin, A. (2015). “Shaping the Memory of Early Christian Cult Sites: Conspicuous Antiquity and the Rhetoric of Renovation at Rome, Cimitile-Nola and Porec,” in Cultural Memories in the Roman Empire. pp. 116-32. Los Angeles: Getty Publications.
    • Yasin, A. (2015). “Sacred Installations: The Material Conditions of Relic Collections in Late Antique Churches,” in Saints and Sacred Matter: The Cult of Relics in Byzantium and Beyond. pp. 133-51. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks.
    • Yasin, A. (2015). “Prayers on Site: The Materiality of Devotional Graffiti and the Production of Early Christian Sacred Space,” in Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval Worlds. pp. 36-60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Yasin, A. (2012). “Sacred Space and Visual Art,”. Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity pp. 935-69. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Pr..
    • Yasin, A. (2012). “Sight Lines of Sanctity at Late Antique Martyria,” in Architecture of the Sacred: Space, Ritual, and Experience from Classical Greece to Byzantium. pp. 248-80. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
    • Yasin, A. (2010). “Making Use of Paradise: Church Benefactors, Heavenly Visions, and the Late Antique Commemorative Imagination,” in Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams and Insights in Medieval Art and History. pp. 39-57. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Index of Christian Art.

    Book Review

    • Yasin, A. (2022). “Object Lessons: Studying Late Antique and Early Medieval Things,” review of Fifty Early Medieval Things: Materials of Culture in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, by Deborah Deliyannis, Henrik Dey, and Paolo Squatriti. Journal of Roman Archaeology. pp. 587-91.
    • Yasin, A. (2019). Review of Christianizing Egypt: Syncretism and Local Worlds in Late Antiquity, by David Frankfurter. Journal of Early Christian Studies. pp. 498-500.
    • Yasin, A. (2018). Review of Ritual Sites and Religious Rivalries in Late Roman North Africa, by Shira L. Lander. Classical World. pp. 732-34.

    Journal Article

    • Yasin, A. (2012). “Response: Materializing the Study of Late Antique Pilgrimage,”. HEROM – Journal on Hellenistic and Roman Material Culture. Vol. 1, pp. 261-76.
    • Yasin, A. (2012). “Reassessing Salona’s Churches: Martyrium Evolution in Question,”. Journal of Early Christian Studies. Vol. 20 (1), pp. 59-112.
    • Yasin, A. (2005). “Funerary Monuments and Collective Identity: From Roman Family to Christian Community,”. The Art Bulletin/College Art Association. pp. 433-57.
    • Yasin, A. (2000). “Displaying the Sacred Past: Ancient Christian Inscriptions in Early Modern Rome,”. International Journal of the Classical Tradition/International Society for the Classical Tradition, Boston University. Vol. 7 (1), pp. 39-57.


    • Yasin, A. (2001). Translation (from German) of Franz Alto Bauer, “Urban Space and Ritual: Constantinople in Late Antiquity”. Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia.
    • Yasin, A. (1998). Roman and Late antique Objects, in The Classical Collection of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago. The University of Chicago Press.
    • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, 2018-2019
    • Visiting Scholar (invited), “Materiale Textkulturen” Collaborative Research Centre of the German Research Foundation, Universität Heidelberg, 2018/06-2018/07
    • Byzantine Studies Fellow, Dumbarton Oaks, 2006/01-2006/05
    • American Academy at Rome, 2-year Rome Prize in Classical Studies and Archaeology, 1999/09-2001/08
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Chair, Classics, 08/2020 –
    • Director of Graduate Studies (Interim), Classics, Fall 2022
    • Director of Graduate Studies, Art History, 07/2013 – 12/2016
    • Acting Chair, Art History, 09/2015 – 12/2015
    • Director of Graduate Studies, Classics Department, 06/2009 – 08/2011


    • Advisory Board, Center for the Premodern World, 2019 –
    • Member, Executive Board, Visual Studies Research Institute, 2011 –
    • Member, Faculty Advisory Committee, Interdisciplinary Archaeology Committee, 09/2006 –
    • Member, Academic Advisory Council, Interdisciplinary Research Group of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, 2009 – 2012
    • Co-Chair, Co-director, Religion and Material Culture Working Group of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture Interdisciplinary Research Group., 2009 – 2011
  • Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Associate Editor and Exhibition Reviews Editor, Studies in Late Antiquity, 12/2016 –
    • Editorial Board Member, Classical Antiquity, 08/2008 –
    • Editorial Board Member, Gesta, 03/2012 – 03/2013

    Professional Offices

    • Vice President, Byzantine Studies Association of North America, 10/2010 – 10/2011
    • Secretary, Byzantine Studies Association of North America, 10/2008 – 10/2009
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