A-Z Index

Dr. Karen Britt



131 Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building



Joined Northwest in 2019

Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D. Art History; Indiana University
  • M.A. Classical and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • B.A. Classics; University of Cincinnati

Courses Taught

  • Survey I: Prehistoric through Medieval Art and Architecture
  • Survey II: Renaissance through Contemporary Art and Architecture
  • Introduction to Visual Culture (Art Appreciation)
  • Ancient and Medieval Art and Architecture
  • Twentieth Century Global Art and Architecture

Academic Interests

I teach courses ranging from introductory surveys of art to advanced-level classes in global art and architecture. I approach the subjects of my courses in an interdisciplinary manner, drawing on history, religion, and culture to fully contextualize art and architecture. I am committed to offering experiential learning opportunities for students inside and outside of the classroom. In mentoring students, I foster professional development by supporting students in applying for museum internships, artist residencies, and graduate programs; by encouraging students to present their creative work at national and regional undergraduate research conferences; and by offering opportunities for involvement in my international research projects.

As an art historian who is also engaged in archaeology, I understand firsthand the importance of adopting multidisciplinary and transcultural approaches to the study of art and encourage students to cast a wide disciplinary net in their creative endeavors. I am passionate about teaching students to think critically and analytically about visual culture and its impact on our lives; providing students with opportunities to further develop these skills in projects that emphasize effective verbal and written communication; and imparting a knowledge and understanding of the important role research plays in strengthening creative work.

Scholarly Activity

As an art historian and archaeologist who conducts research on the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, I am particularly interested in issues of representation and the affective engagement of the image; the negotiation of artistic, cultural, and political boundaries; and historiography and critical theory. In my research, I explore how architectural decoration, in particular mosaics, can illuminate culture and society in the Roman, Byzantine/Latin, and Islamic worlds. My current research program focuses on three overlapping topics: changing conceptions of sacred space among Jews, Christians, and Muslims; evidence for interreligious and intercommunal engagement in visual culture; and female patronage.

As the mosaics specialist for the Huqoq Excavation Project ( in Israel, I collaborate on the publication of the mosaics uncovered in the late Roman synagogue with Ra‘anan Boustan, the project’s late antique historian.

For more information about my research, see