University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

School of Fine ArtsArt & Art History Department

Jean Givens


Professor of Art History

(860) 486-3932

PhD, University of California–Berkeley

Jean Givens is Professor of Art History. Her research centers on medieval England and France, the history of visual and verbal literacy, and design initiatives in twentieth-century Denmark and Sweden. She has published two books. Observation and Image-Making in Gothic Art (Cambridge, 2005) was awarded the 2009 John Nicholas Brown prize by the Medieval Academy of America. Visualizing Medieval Medicine and Natural History, 1220-1550 (co-edited with historians of science, Karen M. Reeds and Alain Touwaide) was published by Ashgate U.K. in 2006. A third project–Reading beyond the Text: Image, Word, and the Illustrated Tractatus de Herbis—is nearing completion. Professor Givens’ research has received the generous support of fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the University of Connecticut. Her newest project,Marketing Modernism: Sweden, Denmark, and the Good Life, addresses a formative alliance between design theoreticians and Nordic policy makers between 1920 and 1960.

Professor Givens attended the University of California at Berkeley and the University of  Lund, Sweden. Her degrees include a B.A. in Graphic Design as well as the Ph.D. in History of Art. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Fiji Islands for three years before joining the UCONN faculty in 1987. She was honored with appointment as a University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow in 1997. She annually teaches an introductory survey of western art, upper-level courses on topics relevant to Classical and Medieval art, more specialized courses such as “The Early Illustrated Book,” and occasional seminars, most recently “Retail Madness: Shops, Shopping, and Urban Design.”

For the introduction of Observation and Image-Making in Gothic Art, please see:

The introduction of Visualizing Medieval Medicine and Natural History is available at:


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