Dr. Nancy Wicker
Medieval Art History and Archaeology
MA, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
BA, Eastern Illinois University
I teach an introductory course on worldwide ancient and medieval art and various advanced courses on the art and archaeology of the Middle Ages—including Viking art. My interdisciplinary research focuses on the art and archaeology of Scandinavia from the Migration Period of the 5th and 6th centuries through the Viking Age, c. 750–1100.
In my research, I examine the relationship of Late Roman medallions to Migration Period gold pendants known as bracteates, which were worn by elite women across northern and central Europe. I also investigate the roles of artists and patrons in Viking-Age figural and animal-style art. Fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as a Getty Foundation Seminar, have supported my research. I have been co-director of NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants for the Andvari Project on the iconography of early medieval art of northern Europe, I participated in archaeological investigations at the Viking Age trading center of Birka, and I conducts experiments to reconstruct early jewelry techniques. My Ph.D. in Ancient Studies from the University of Minnesota included the study of archaeology, art history, and early Germanic languages, and I have published on gender in archaeology, animal-style art, and runic literacy.
Currently, I serve on the Runic Advisory Group for the International Symposium on Runes and Runic Inscriptions, and I am on the Editorial Board of Gesta, the journal of the International Center of Medieval Art. I have been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and I am the first woman elected to foreign membership in the Philosophical-Historical Section of the Royal Society of Humanities at Uppsala, Sweden. I am also the first (and only) American chosen for membership in the Sachsensymposion, an international archaeological society.