Dr. Karen McCluskey
BA/BFA, MA, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Honours Co-ordinator, Discipline Head in History
Phone: 02 8204 4121
Karen was awarded a PhD from the Department of Art History and Theory at The University of Sydney in 2006. Thesis title: 'The Politics of Sanctity: Visualising Local Saints and Beati in Late-Mediaeval Venice'.
Karen also holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from McMaster University, both in Ontario, Canada.
Before teaching at UNDA, Karen lectured in the Department of Art History and Theory and in the Centre for Continuing Education both at the University of Sydney; she has tutored at UNSW, University of Sydney and Queen's University, Canada. Karen has taught courses on many aspects of Italian, Byzantine and European art, as well as on various themes in Western history, from ancient Greece to the Protestant Reformation and beyond.
Karen co-leads the University of Notre Dame’s Experience the World unit to Spain with Fremantle’s Professor Deborah Gare. http://www.nd.edu.au/fremantle/schools/arts_sciences/spain-2013/spain-2013
Mediaeval and Early Modern
- sanctity and devotion in mediaeval and early-modern Europe
- saints’ relics, sepulchres and art in mediaeval Italy
- mediaeval pilgrimage
- legends and myths
- intersection of politics and religion in mediaeval and early-modern Europe
- gender in history
Karen is currently collaborating with Dr. Višnja Bralić of the Croatian Conservation Institute/Hrvatski Restauratorski Zavod, Zagreb on an analysis of Lazzaro Bastiani's predella panels representing the cult of Leone Bembo, c. 1485.
Mediaeval and early modern history and art history, especially gender, biography, saints/devotion, historiography, myths and legends
Topics in ancient history
Re-Orienting the Renaissance in the Suleymanic Age, 1520-1595 [current]
Light of Patriarchs: Mediaeval Visual Representations of St Joseph [current]
MPhil: The Visual Representation of Political Philosophy on the Fourteenth-Century Doge's Palace in Venice [current]
Body-Part Reliquaries: Visualising the Sacred in the Later Middle Ages [current]
An Exploration of Masculinity in Sir Thomas Malory’s 'Le Morte D’Arthur' 
Spain’s Valley of the Fallen: Representation and Legacy 
‘Next Year in Jerusalem’: Visual expressions of Zionism in the Szyk Haggadah 
Gender & Power in Early Palaiologan Byzantium: the Case of Anna of Savoy (c. 1306-1365) 
A Defence against Calumny: Hortense Mancini’s Salon Years (1675-1699) 
Marcus Aurelius and the Myth of the Philosopher-King 
Philip II of Macedon: a revision 
Research and engagement
McCluskey, K. (2013). Miraculous Visions: Apparitio in the Vitae of Mediaeval Venetian Saints and Beati’ IKON, Journal of Iconographic Studies, vol. 6, 167-181.
McCluskey, K. (2012) 'That Bloody Myth of Venice Again! Noble Blood and Sanctity in Venice', Blood (Sydney, Trunk Books).
El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz: a problem of interpretation, UNDA Art History Mini-Conference
'Bellum iustum: hagiography and Venetian imperialism in the later Middle Ages', WHA conference: Faith, Empire and Conflict, Fremantle, WA
'Local Sanctity in Late-Mediaeval Venice: convergences and divergences' Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, San Diego, USA
'Happiness for Dummies: Saints' Lives and the Possibility of Happiness in the Later Middle Ages', Happiness Symposium, Arts and Sciences, UNDA Sydney
'Miraculous Visions: Apparitio in the Vitae of Mediaeval Venetian Saints and Beati', 'Visions' 6th International Conference of Iconographic Studies, University of Rijeka, Croatia
'Official Sanctity alla veneziana: Pietro Orseolo, Gerardo da Venezia and Giacomo Salomani', Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Venice, Italy