National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Jennifer M. Stager

Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University

Jennifer M. Stager is Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Art and Architecture at John Hopkins University in the Department of History of Art. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, her Master of Studies from Lincoln College at Oxford University, and her A.B. from Harvard College. Her research interests are ancient Mediterranean art and architecture in its global context, with emphasis in theories of color, feminism, aesthetics, materiality, optics, and ancient Greek medicine, as well as the reception of ancient Mediterranean art, ekphrasis, intercultural exchange, and curatorial practice. In 2020 she received a fellowship from the Center of Hellenic Studies for research for her upcoming monograph Deliverance from Pain: Feminisms and Hippocratic Medicine, and her other works in progress include Seeing Ancient Mediterranean Color (under contract), and Public Feminisms Across Time and Space (co-written with L. Easa, under contract).  Professor Stager is an AIA Kershaw Lecturer for 2021/2022.


This lecture analyzes how a range of media worked in conjunction with texts to produce a story of ancient medicine (later described as Hippocratic medicine) that both proposed new practices and also built on the established visual cues associated with healing gods from across the wider ancient Mediterranean and ancient Near East, especially the gods Asclepius and Hygeia. The figure of Hippocrates is visually assimilated into a geneaology with Asclepius in a move that excises Hygeia and women healers. Representational art associated with early medicine narrates a familiar story of the doctor as god, while portable arts, body-part dedications, curses and spells make visible practices and people traditionally excluded from histories of early medicine. This lecture will explore what I am calling a feminist history of early medicine

This lecture analyzes the medium of mosaic as paradigmatic for a range of art practices. First it will trace the reception history of ancient mosaics, which have historically been marginalized as functional craft. Then it will turn to ongoing research connected with the mosaic floors from Antioch-on-the-Orontes, which were excavated in the 1930s and have subsequently been distributed to over twenty-five different locations worldwide. Finally, the lecture will consider the specific history of the thirty or so mosaics currently in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the rooms, houses, and other mosaic fragments housed in other collections to which they are connected.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:,-9.1412,172.2656,82.8921

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.