Bissera Pentcheva is Assitant Professor of Art History at Stanford University. She received her B. A. from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. from the Dept. of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. She was a pre-doctoral fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Institute at Washington D.C., a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University at the Department of Art History and Archaeology and a fellow of the Onassis Foundation at the National Institute for Byzantine Studies in Athens, Greece.
Her first book, entitled Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium (Pennsylvania State, 2006), focuses on the civic cult of the Mother of God and explores how relics and icons carried in war and in triumphal and liturgical processions shaped imperial power and defined Byzantine cultural identity. Her articles have appeared in RES. Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics (2000 and 2004), Dumbarton Oaks Papers (2000), and Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (2002).
Her new book project explores Byzantine tactile visuality and the sensory experience of icons. A synthesis of this research will appear in “The Performative Icon” Art Bulletin 88/4 (forthcoming 2006).
At Stanford she has taught the undergraduate courses: Introduction to Medieval Art; The Age of Cathedrals: Byzantine Art and Architecture.
as well as the graduate seminars: Virginity and Power: Mary in the Middle Ages; Medieval Image Theory; Aesthetics of the Icon; and Light and Power: Mosaics and Stained-Glass Windows in the Middle Ages.