Jean Givens

Emerita Professor of Art History

Jean Givens is Professor Emerita of Art History. Her research and teaching interests span both medieval
and modern topics including the history of visual and verbal literacy in medieval Europe, and design
initiatives in twentieth-century Denmark and Sweden. Her first book–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. Her
current book projects include Reading beyond the Text: Image, Word, and the Illustrated Tractatus de
Herbis–a longitudinal study of a medieval medical text. Another book in progress, Marketing Modernism:
Sweden, Denmark, and the Good Life, addresses a formative alliance between design theoreticians and
Nordic policy makers between 1920 and 1960. Her 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
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. Her teaching
areas include introductory and upper-level courses on topics relevant to Classical and Medieval art and
architecture as well as more specialized courses such as “The Early Illustrated Book,” and occasional
seminars, including “Retail Madness: Shops, Shopping, and Urban Design.”

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