History of Art and Architecture

Sheila Bonde

Christopher Chan and Michelle Ma Professor of History of Art, Professor of Archaeology
Research Interests Medieval Architecture & Archaeology, Monastic Studies
Office Hours Thursdays, 10:30-11:30 am or by appointment


Sheila Bonde’s research combines architectural history, archival research, archaeology and social anthropological approaches to study medieval built and non-built spaces. She has directed excavations on five monastic sites, and has engaged not only with the architecture of the church, but with the domestic and industrial buildings within the complexes, and aspects of the landscape (such as hydraulics). She is interested in the ways in which texts, buildings, pottery, pipes and bones sometimes tell conflicting stories.  Professor Bonde has been involved with a number of digital projects, including her website on Saint-Jean-des-Vignes and her recent digital article on the construction process at the abbey of Ourscamp. She is now exploring new CAD and graphic strategies for presenting and analyzing the monastic site of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes through a Mellon-supported Digital Initiatives project on the Sensory Monastery. Her forthcoming edited volume titled Other Monasticisms will help to redress the narrowness of previous scholarship. Professor Bonde offers a range of courses on medieval art and architecture (including Islamic, Byzantine and western art from c. 500-c. 1500), on medieval archaeology, and on thematic questions (Water and Architecture, Architectures of Reuse, The Body and the Senses in Medieval Art and Architecture, etc.). She holds an affiliate position as Professor of Archaeology with the Joukowsky Institute, and is a member of Medieval Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. Professor Bonde is an active archaeologist, with recent fieldwork at the medieval Carthusian monastery of Bourgfontaine and at Tiron, both in France. 

Selected Books

Professor Bonde’s published work includes two books on the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, another on fortified churches, a special digital issue of Speculum devoted to Digital Medieval Studies, and an edited volume on the representation of the past.  Her recent work engages with architectural reuse in the Middle Ages, medieval soundscapes, and with the architecture of monastic reform.  

Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons, Paris: Éditions du Patrimoine, ser. Itineraires, Monum, 2017. (with Clark Maines and Karine Jagielski, and with the collaboration of Dany Sandron and Christian Corvisier)

Re-Presenting the Past: Archaeology through Image and Text, co-edited with Stephen Houston, Joukowsky Institute Publications no. 2, Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2013.

Selected Articles

Performing Silence and Regulating Sound: the Soundscape of the Medieval Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,” in Susan Boynton and Diane Reilly, eds., Resounding Images: Sound and the Visual Arts in Harmony, 700-1500, forthcoming, 2015, with Clark Maines.

“’Ne aliquis extraneus claustrum intret’: Entry and Access at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons.” in Perspectives for an Architecture of Solitude: Essays on Cistercians, Art and Architecture in Honour of Peter Fergusson, ed. Terryl N. Kinder, Medieval Church Studies 11, Studia et Documenta 13, Turnhout: Brepols/ Cîteaux, 2004, pp. 173-186, with Clark Maines.

The Technology of Medieval Water Management at the Charterhouse of Bourgfontaine,” with Clark Maines, Technology and Culture, 53 (2012) pp. 625-670.

A full profile can be found on Professor Bonde's Academia.edu and University Research pages.