• B.F.A., Auburn University, 1993
  • M.A., University of Alabama, 1998
  • Ph.D., Florida State University, 2007
Areas of Interest

Kara Morrow completed her Ph.D. at Florida State University, composing a dissertation on the visual narratives of Saint Stephen in medieval architectural sculpture. After teaching through the course of her graduate studies at FSU, the University of South Florida, and Albion College, she joined The College of Wooster in 2010. She focuses her teaching and research on medieval and African art history, but also has broad teaching interests in the art of the ancient world. Professor Morrow’s classes often include opportunities for students to learn directly from the objects in the teaching collections of The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM) and have even featured student-curated exhibitions.

Professor Morrow’s topics of publication include narrative effect in medieval images of saints’ lives and Africanisms in visual culture. Her current research involves the artistic and religious traditions of the African American cemeteries of New Orleans, focusing on visual expression that enables meaningful contact between people and their “important deceased” at sites of power marking the intersection of the corporal and divine. Her medieval research concentrates on the visual narratives of saints’ lives (hagiography) within architectural contexts where the saint’s body resides in the form of relics. She investigates how the art in these sacred spaces directed worshipers, creating both meaning and even identity for various viewers. Similarly, Professor Morrow’s work on Africanisms in African-American art focuses on the interaction of the human and the spiritual within a sacred space, the grave or cemetery, where the relics of a loved-one provide an inlet to the powers of the spiritual realm. These closely related lines of inquiry depend on the same theoretical underpinnings linked to ephemera, race, gender, and reception theories.

Courses Taught
  • First Year Seminar: The Art of Childhood: The Fairy Tales, Books, and Movies We Think We Know
  • ARTH 101: Introduction to Art History I
  • ARTH 201: Bronze Age Art
  • ARTH 240: Greek Archaeology and Art
  • ARTH 241: Roman Archaeology and Art
  • ARTH 206: Early Medieval Art
  • ARTH 207: Late Medieval Art
  • ARTH 220: African Art
  • ARTH 221: Islamic Art
  • ARTH 310: Sex, Love & the Body in Medieval Art
  • Leadership Arts in Africa at The College of Wooster Art Museum. The College of Wooster Art Museum. Collaborative Show with COW Students. April 25–May 19, 2017. About. Installation. Catalogue.
  • “Ordination, Purification, and Consecration: Episcopal Privilege at Bourges Cathedral.” In Envisioning the Bishop. Eds Evan Gatti and Sigrid Danielson. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, May 2014. Brepols Online.
  • “Signs, Symbols, and Shells: African American Cemeteries in Florida.” In Africa in Florida. Eds. Amanda Carlson and Robin Poynor. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, February 2014. Florida Book Awards, Gold Medal Award Winner.
  • The Performative in African Art at The College of Wooster Art Museum. The College of Wooster Art Museum. Collaborative Show with COW Students. November 14–December 16, 2013. About. Installation. Catalogue.
  • Middle Eastern Manuscripts, Ceramics & Textiles, Co-Curator with Prof. Sarah Mirza, The College of Wooster Art Museum. August 28–October 7, 2012. About. Installation.
  • “Architectural Decoration: Decorative iconography for saints as specific cult centers: Stephen,” and “Cult Objects: Specific Reliquaries: Stephen.” In The Encyclopedia of Medieval. Ed. Larissa Taylor. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009. Brill Online.
  • “Ancient Iconography and Medieval Disputation: Jews Imagined on the St. Stephen Portal of Paris Cathedral.” In Beyond the Yellow Badge: New Approaches to Anti-Judaism and Antisemitism in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture. Ed. Mitchell Merback. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2008. Brill Online.
  • “Bakongo Afterlife and Cosmological Direction: Translation of African Culture into North Florida Cemeteries.” Athanor XX, (2002).
Professional Affiliations
  • College Art Association
  • International Center for Medieval Art, America & Paris
  • Hagiography Society
  • The Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • Midwest Art History Society