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Prof. Barbara Baert

Barbara Baert (1967) is professor of art history at K.U.Leuven. She teaches among others Medieval Art, Iconology, History of Christian Art, Image&Meaning and Analyzing Images.

Her interests lay in the interpretation and meaning of images related to context, function and medium (Iconology). Her (sub)disciplines concern sacred topography, visual anthropology, art-relics-devotion, art theory and the interstices between art and art praxis. In short, she works in a strong interdisciplinary way. In 2006 she founded the Iconology Research Group, an international and interdisciplinary platform for the study of the interpretation of images (www.iconologyresearchgroup.org).

Barbara Baert directed several international research programs, such as:

  • “Mary Magdalene and the Touching of Jesus. An Intra- en Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Interpretation of John 20:17” sponsored by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO 2004-2008).
  • “The Woman with the Hemorrhage Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24-34; Luke 8:42b-48). An Iconological Study of the Interpretation of the Haemorrhoissa in Medieval Art”, funded by the Catholic University Leuven (2008-2012).
  • “Caput Iohannis in Disco. Object-Medium_function. With a corpus of the Low Countries”, sponsored by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO 2012-2016).
  • “Caput Iohannis in Disco. Interdisciplinary approaches on its use, abuse and re-use in Central Europe”, funded by the Catholic University Leuven (2013-2017).

Barbara Baert organizes on a regular basis international conferences in Belgium and abroad, such as in at the Academia Belgica in Rome on the representation of the loose heads in art and reliquaries (September 2009 at press with Brill Publishers: Intersections). She was/is scientific member of several international conferences, such as Visual constructs of Jerusalem (November 2010; Jerusalem, The Hebrew University).

Her articles appeared in a variety of scientific A1/ISI/peer review journals, including:  Archaevs. Study in the History of Religions, Arte cristiana, Artibus et Historiae, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, Critica d’arte, Gesta, Iconographica. Rivista di Iconografia Medievale e Moderna, Ikon, Images. Journal vor Visual Studies, Konsthistorisk Tidskrift, Mitteilungen für Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte, Pantheon, Storia dell’Arte, Textile. Journal of Cloth and Culture, Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte.

Recently she founded as editor-in-chief two new series

Regarding university responsibilities and European science policies it is worth mentioning that Barbara Baert is responsible for Erasmus exchange in her department and part of the vice-rector team responsible with “internationalization”. She is also the promoter of diversity at her faculty, concerned among others with gender and ethnic balance in recruitments.

Since October 2010 the Funding for Scientific Research-Flanders mandated Barbara Baert for a term of 3 years as the representative for Belgium at the European Standing Committee for Humanities (ESCF) with two plenary meetings a year and several evaluation tasks as rapporteur. Finally, Barbara Baert was honored twice with the highest scientific distinction in Belgium: The prize of the “Koninlijke Academie voor Wetenschappen van België. Klasse Schone kunsten” (Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium. Class of the Arts)
-In 1993 for her outstanding Thesis in the arts History: B. Baert, Het Boec van den Houte, Brussel, (Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium. Class of the Arts), 1995
-In 2006 for her outstanding scientific career before the age of 40.

Her recent books within the 5 years are:

  • B. Baert and K. Rudy (eds.), Weaving, Veiling, and Dressing. Textiles and their metaphors in the late Middle Ages, Medieval Church Studies, Turnhout (Brepols), 2007; and Fluid Flesh. The Body, Religion and the Visual Arts, (Lieven Gevaert Studies in Photography and Visualstudies), 2009.
  • B. Baert (ed.) Fluid Flesh. The Body, Religion and the Visual Arts, (Lieven Gevaert Studies in Photography and Visual studies), 2009  (ISBN 978 90 5867 716 7).
  • B. Baert, Interspaces between Word, Gaze and Touch. The Bible and the Visual Medium in the Middle Ages. Collected essays on Noli me tangere, the Woman with the Haemorrhage, the Head of John the Baptist, (Annua Nuntia Lovaniensia, LXII), Leuven (Peeters), 2011, 156pp.
  • B. Baert, To Touch with the Gaze. Noli me tangere and the Iconic Space, Gent, 2011, 120pp, 46 images. (ISBN 978-94-6190-560-4)
  • B. Baert, Ann-Sophie Lehmann and Jenke van der Akkerveken (eds.), New Perspectives in Iconology: Visual Studies and Anthropology, Brussels, 2011. (AspEditions, 240pp ISBN 978 90 5487 975 6)
  • B. Baert, Thread. On the Origin of Creation, Ghent, 2012, 72pp, 25 images (ISBN 978-94-6190-728-8).
  • B. Baert, Wind. On the Origin of Emotion, Ghent, 2012, 72pp, 24 images (ISBN 978-9090271316).
  • B. Baert, Caput Joannis in Disco. {Essay on a Man’s Head}, (Brill Publishers: Visualising the Middle Ages VMA 8), Leiden, 2012 250pp ISBN 978-9004-22411-7

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