Katherine Tsanoff Brown Lecture featuring Dr. Roland Betancourt

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Roland Betancourt is a scholar of Byzantium and modern popular culture with research that lies firmly at the intersection of histories of science and technology, intellectual history, and the history of art. His research has explored theories of sensation and perception, the transmission of ancient knowledge, technical illustrations and diagrams, musicological analyses of texts and their recitation, and the premodern histories of queerness, gender variance, and racialization.

He is the author of "Performing the Gospels in Byzantium: Sight, Sound, and Space in the Divine Liturgy" (Cambridge, 2021), "Byzantine Intersectionality: Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages" (Princeton, 2020), and "Sight, Touch, and Imagination in Byzantium" (Cambridge, 2018), as well as several edited volumes and articles. Byzantine Intersectionality was a finalist for the Award of Excellence in the Study of Religion: Historical Studies by the American Academy of Religion. His teaching was recognized with a UCI School of Humanities Faculty Teaching Award in 2016. And, his research has been supported by several fellowships and grants, including the Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and a three-year Chancellor’s Fellowship at UCI.

Currently, he is the editor for the ICMA | Viewpoints book series at the Pennsylvania State University Press and for The Middle Ages book series at the University of Pennsylvania Press, as well as a member of the editorial and review boards of Exemplaria and Speculum. Betancourt also serves on the governing boards of the College Art Association, the International Center of Medieval Art, the Byzantine Studies Association of North America, the Medieval Academy of America, and the Medievalists of Color organization. His popular writing on the Middle Ages has appeared in The Washington Post, Scientific American, TIME, The Conversation, Literary Hub, and The Advocate.

Betancourt is working on several ongoing book projects, including "A Plurality of Means: Disneyland and the Aesthetics of Automation," on how the modern theme park popularized the rise of industrial automation and its logics in the post-war period, and "Queer, Byzantine: Camp, Excess, Aesthetics" on queer dialogues between the Byzantine past and modern art, architecture, literature, and popular culture.