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Bissera Pentcheva


Associate Professor of Art & Art History
Associate Professor of Classics, by courtesy

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Bissera Pentcheva joined the faculty at Stanford in 2003 after teaching as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. She received her Ph.D from Harvard in 2001 with a dissertation on the cult of the Virgin in Byzantium. She has held a number of prestigious fellowships: Dumbarton Oaks Junior Fellowship, Onassis Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, and Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. She also taught a graduate seminar on Phenomenology of the Byzantine Icon at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, summer 2007.  Her research interests include: phenomenology and aesthetics, architectural psychoacoustics, performance and ritual, medieval image theory, Iconoclasm, and cult of the Mother of God.

Pentcheva's new research expands in two directions: 1. aesthetics and architectural psychacoustics of Hagia Sophia and 2. Sinai, the Icon, and the Crusades in the Thirteenth-century Mediterranean. The project on acoustics conducted in collaboration with Jonathan Abel (Consulting Professor at the Department of Music and the Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics) has been awarded the Presidential Fund for the Innovation in the Humanities.


Selected Courses