BiographyKathryn Barush is Thomas E. Bertelsen Associate Professor of Art History and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She received a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 2012, which was followed by a 3-year position as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked as a curatorial assistant at the Yale University Center for British Art.
Dr. Barush's first book, Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790-1850 (London: Routledge), was honorable mention for the 2018 Borsch-Rast Prize, one of Dame Marina Warner's selections for Book of the Year (TLS), and a finalist for AAR Best First Book in the History of Religions.
Shifting the focus to the present day, Dr. Barush's current book project (Bloomsbury Academic) continues to explore the transfer of 'spirit' from sites to representations through a critical examination of contemporary art (including assemblages of souvenirs, built environments, and reconstructions of sacred sites) created after or during pilgrimages with the intent to engender the experience for others. Dr. Barush has collaborated on several major digital preservation, research, and archiving initiatives at CASVA and the University of Oxford with support from the Leverhulme and Mellon Foundations. In addition to research on pilgrimage and visual culture, she is also an avid walker herself and has led a group of graduate student pilgrims along the Camino Ignaciano in Spain.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
art history, material cultures of religion, history of pilgrimage, British history