Architectural History and Theory


About Architectural History and Theory

The Architectural History and Theory Research School supports adventurous research in architectural history and theory at York. In a period when architecture is assuming increased importance both in the UK and internationally, the Department of Art History at York has one of the largest, liveliest, and most wide-ranging group of experts in the UK.

As a research group, we regularly hold research events and we warmly welcome applications from postgraduate students for study at MA and PhD level.

Our research

Our research embraces many periods and locations, combined with a notable range of theoretical and methodological approaches.

We have particular strengths chronologically in medieval, early modern, and modern; geographically in Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany; and methodologically in approaches including historical materialism, critical theory and feminism. We offer significant expertise in stained glass, architectural drawings, urbanism, and archival work.

We are building on these strengths to confirm York as a leading research centre for architectural history and theory.


Research staff


Research students

Current students

  • Karen Brett
    Spitting on an Angel, Trampling a Saint: Reading the Medieval English Pavement
  • Alasdair Flint
    A House for Mary: The Architecture of the Annunciation in Central and Northern Italy, 1400-1500
  • Izzy Hampton
    Lords of the North? Aristocratic identities in fourteenth century art and architecture
  • James Hillson
    St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster: Architecture and Decoration in the Courts of Henry III and the three Edwards (1231-1363)
  • Claudia Jung
    Visual translations of Jerusalem in the Early Modern Netherlands
  • Mark Kirby
    Furnishing Sir Christopher Wren's Churches: Anglican Identity in Late Seventeenth Century London
  • James Legard
    Vanbrugh, Blenheim Palace, and the Meanings of Baroque Architecture
  • Livia Lupi
    Painted Architecture and Pictorial Place: the Representation of Architecture in Italy in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
  • Martin Nixon
    Baroque towns built in the Val di Noto area of Sicily, 1700-1780
  • Philip Thomas
    John Coates Carter (1859-1927): architecture, Anglicanism and a sense of place in South Wales
  • Sa (Leah) Xiao
    Exploring the links between I.M. Pei and internationalism in architectural design

Recent students

  • Ann-Marie Akehurst
    Architecture and Philanthropy: Building Hospitals in Eighteenth-Century York
  • Caroline Anderson
    The Material Culture of Domestic Religion in Florence, c.1500-c.1640
  • James Jago Court, Capital, Province: The Reassessment and Exemplars of Private Religious Space in Early Modern England, 1600-1660
  • Joanna O’Hara
    18th-century British Architecture with special attention to the architectural drawings of Colen Campbell
  • Marie Prior
    Attitudes to the Medieval in Victorian Bridge Design
  • Fran Sands
    Nostell Priory: History of a House, 1730-85
  • Matthew Walker
    Architecture and Experimental Philosophy in Restoration England: The Case of Robert Hooke