Felicity Ratté

Art History – Marlboro College


TEACHING: As the only Art Historian my teaching duties cover the History of Art from the Ancient Near East to the late 20th Century. Over time I also developed my interest and expertise in the Art History of the World beyond Europe and the United States, offering courses in South Asian Art and Architecture and traveling to China, Cambodia, South Korea, Turkey and India. I am currently studying the art and architecture of the Islamic world with the aim of transforming my curriculum to include courses in this area as well as to integrate the study of Islamic culture into a number of courses that I offer. This project began during my sabbatical year (2010-2011) during which time I visited Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Bulgaria. Please go to the travel blog for more information on this journey and continued comments on my research abroad.

ADMINISTRATION: From 2005 to 2010 I served as the Dean of Faculty at Marlboro College, from 2009 to 2010 I was both the Dean of Faculty and the Dean of Graduate Education. The Dean of Faculty is the Chief Academic Officer of the College. Working with the president and members of senior management the Dean supports and advances the Academic program of the college, collaborates on strategic and long-range planning and advises on all areas of institutional management. As chair of the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Faculty, the Dean facilitates the maintenance and development of the curriculum and supervises the recruitment and retention of new faculty. The Dean manages the Instructional Budget, creates professional development opportunities for faculty and supervises the thirteen members of the Academic Affairs staff. I’ve put this in here because I am currently thinking through how this administrative experience is effecting my teaching now that I have returned to the class room. I know that it has certainly made my thinking far more interdisciplinary. Interestingly, I think it has also allowed me to think more flexibly about what and how I teach. For example, I am currently engaged in teaching a community engagement class (also known as community-service, although I don’t like the title). I don’t think I would have thought of doing this 7 years ago.



“Seeing the City from all sides of the Middle Sea,” Potash Hill, Winter 2012

“Creation of a cult image: The Crucifix of S. Giovanni Gualberto in Fourteenth-Century Florence,” currently under review

Picturing the City in Medieval Italy, McFarland Press, November 2006

“Truck painting in Calcutta,” Potash Hill, Summer-Fall, 2001

“Re-presenting the Common Place: Architectural Portraiture in the Trecento,” Studies in Iconography, volume 22 (2001), 87-110

“Architectural Invitations: Images of City Gates in Medieval Italian Painting,” Gesta, vol. XXXVIII/2 (1999), 142-151

with Caterina Pirina, “Two Stained Glass Panels from the Milan Cathedral in the Rotch Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” Journal of Glass Studies, 30 (1989): 55-64



At present my research is focusing on urban centers of the medieval Mediterranean comparing how the built environment of Muslim and Christian cities were used by their residents and how those uses are reflected in and influenced monumental architecture and urban design. I gave a paper on the preliminary findings of this research at the Mediterranean Studies Conference in May of 2011. The title of my talk there was “The Celebrated City in the Mediterranean: Possibilities for comparison between Florence and Cairo, c. 1300”. I have continued working on this project over the course of the academic year 2011 and 2012, offering a course on a comparative study of Florence and Cairo in the fall, and I will be giving papers on it at the 11th annual European Association for Urban History Conference in Prague in August and at the Sixteenth Century Society & Conference in November.

If you would like to find some resources helpful for integrating Islamic material into the curriculum please follow this link: Generalist Art History Resources



As the only Art Historian at Marlboro I have the responsibility of introducing students to the breadth and depth of Art History. For an overview of what I teach please click here: Art History, Course Book and Plan Guide. I am currently working on overhauling this curriculum entirely to create a more cross-cultural and global presentation of the discipline. As noted above, I have just recently started to do some work on community-engagement within the curriculum. I am offering a course in the Spring semester on Disaster response and planning specifically focused on Wilmington, Vt which was severely damaged by Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011. Go here to get and idea about this course.



College Art Association

Hill Center for World Studies

International Center of Medieval Art

Italian Art Society

Society of Architectural Historians

Historians of Islamic Art



Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, Ph. D. History of Art, Sept, 1995.

Dissertation: “Significant Structures: Architectural Imagery in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Tuscan Painting,”

Graduate work focused on the period from 1200 to 1500 in Western Europe, both art and architecture. Minor field in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology.