Robson Junior Professor, Associate Professor of Art History
Ph.D. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
MA Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
B.A. Williams College
(On leave spring-fall 2021)
Professor Popkin specializes in ancient Roman art and architecture. Her research interests include the relationship between architecture, spectacle, and ritual in the Roman world and the impact of visual culture on individual and social remembering in the classical world.
Prof. Popkin has published articles on a range of topics, from archaic Greek vase painting to materiality in Republican Roman architecture. Her articles have appeared in journals including Hesperia, the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Journal of Late Antiquity. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences and colloquia. Her first book, The Architecture of the Roman Triumph:Monuments, Memory, and Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines the monuments built along the path of the Roman triumph, an elaborate ritual celebrating Roman military victories over foreign peoples, and their role in shaping how Romans experienced and remembered the triumphal ritual. Her second book project, Mediating Empire: Souvenirs and Society in the Roman World, investigates ancient souvenirs and memorabilia and their profound role in mediating memory, knowledge, and cultural affinities in the Roman Empire.
Before joining the faculty at CWRU, Prof. Popkin was the Samothrace Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts-NYU and Emory University. She has taught classes at the University of Hartford and New York University and has worked in the education departments of the Williams College Museum of Art and the Smith College Museum of Art. She has excavated at Selinunte in Sicily and at Samothrace in Greece, where she is an ongoing member of the archaeological team and a principal investigator for a project to explore the original context of the famous Nike of Samothrace; this project recently received a three-year collaborative research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Popkin has received various grants and awards, including from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Max Planck Institute’s Memoria Romana International Research Project, and CWRU’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. She is currently the 2020-2021 Andrew Heiskell Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.