Roland Betancourt

picture of Roland  Betancourt

Professor, Art History
School of Humanities

Director, Visual Studies

Affiliate Faculty, Religious Studies

Chancellor's Fellow, 2019-2022

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, History of Art, and Anthropology
M.A., Yale University, History of Art
M.Phil, Yale University, History of Art
Ph.D., Yale University, 2014, History of Art


University of California, Irvine
Art History Department
2222 Humanities Gateway
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Byzantine Art, Visual Culture, and Theology; Critical Theory; Queer Theory; Popular Culture; Theme Parks; Simulacral Spaces
Academic Distinctions
Chancellor's Fellow, UC, Irvine (2019-2022)
Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2016-2017)
School of Humanities Teaching Award, UC, Irvine (2016)
1st Prize for Conference Paper, Byzantine Studies Conference (2013)
Research Abstract
Roland Betancourt is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine. In the 2016-2017 academic year, he was the Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Betancourt's work has looked at the role of Byzantine art in modern and contemporary art and popular culture, as in his edited volume Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity (Leiden: Brill, 2015). His first monograph Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018) proposes a new understanding of theories of vision in the ancient Greek and Byzantine worlds by distancing sight from touch and placing a central focus on the workings of the imagination. He is also the author of a forthcoming book Byzantine Intersectionality on the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender identity in the medieval world, and another book on the recitation and performance of the Gospel in the Divine Liturgy, looking at relationships between words and images in manuscripts and in the space of the Byzantine church.

His research also covers contemporary concerns, including an interest in new media, online culture, and fandom (i.e. YouTube and YouTubers) as well as an ongoing book project on simulacral spaces and theme parks (i.e. Las Vegas and Disneyland).
Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)
"The Icon's Gold: A Medium of Light, Air, and Space," West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture 23:1 (Fall-Winter 2016): 252-280.
Prolepsis and Anticipation: The Apocalyptic Futurity of the Now,” in A Companion to the Premodern Apocalypse, ed. Michael A. Ryan (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 176-204.
"Why Sight Is Not Touch: Reconsidering the Tactility of Vision in Byzantium," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 70 (December 2016): 1-23.
"The Medium is the Byzantine: Popular Culture and the Byzantine," The Middle Ages in the Modern World, eds. Bettina Bildhauer and Chris Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 305-338.
"Beyond Foucault’s Laugh: On the Ethical Practice of Medieval Art History,” Postcolonising the Medieval Image, eds. Eva Frojmovic and Catherine Karkov (London: Ashgate, 2016)
Editor, “Imagined Encounters: Historiographies for a New World,” Special Issue, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 7:1 (Spring 2016).
"Genre as Medium on YouTube: The Work of Grace Helbig," The Journal of Popular Culture 49:1 (2016): 196-223.
Co-editor (with Maria Taroutina), Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity (Leiden: Brill, 2015)
"The Thessaloniki Epitaphios: Notes on Use and Context," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 55:2 (Summer 2015): 489-535.
A Byzantine Liturgical Commentary in Verse: Introduction and Translation,” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 81:2 (2015): 433-472.
Nikolaos von Andida” and “Theodoros von Andida,” in Lexikon byzantinischer Autoren, eds. Michael Grünbart and Alexander Riehle (Leipzig: Akademie Verlag, 2015) [Forthcoming]
Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Professional Societies
College Art Association (CAA)
Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA)
Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA)
International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA)
New Media Caucus (NMC)
BABEL Working Group
Graduate Programs
Visual Studies

Last updated