Joseph Williams

PhD Candidate in Art, Art History & Visual Studies

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Joseph Williams is a Ph.D. Candidate studying medieval architecture with Dr. Caroline Bruzelius. He focuses on problems of practice and production in the church architecture of coastal South Italy. Joseph received his BA from Bates College and earned his MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, achieving a distinction on his thesis. He has recently worked as a Kress Digital Art History Research Fellow and received an ICMA Graduate Student Travel Grant.

His dissertation will consider architectural production in the Mediterranean through a case study of one church: the 12th- and 13th-century cathedral of Molfetta, in Apulia, South Italy. This study will use a comparative, trans-regional approach to explore Molfetta’s participation in broad, seaborne systems of building enterprise, including an ecclesiastical apparatus for launching the Crusades, networks of merchant patronage, and an intercontinental mobility of labor.

Joseph has been active in the Wired! lab as a researcher for Visualizing Venice (2011-2012), the Alife Arch Project (2012), and the NEH Kingdom of Sicily Project (2013-present). His interests in digital technology include the 3D modeling and photogrammetry of small architectural details, as well as the mapping of historical data and architectural observations in geographic information systems (GIS).

Related Courses

Introduction to Art History

Related Projects

The Alife Arch

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Database

Related Publications and Presentations


Medieval Kingdom of Sicily: A Database of Monuments and Sites. Project Director: Caroline Bruzelius; Project Managers: Paola Vitolo and Joseph C. Williams; Project Collaborators: Gabriella Cianciolo, Francesco Gangemi, Luciana Mocciola, Ruggero Longo, Alba Irollo; Metadata and Image Management Consultant: John J. Taormina; Technical Consultant and Database/Web Developer: David Tremmel.


Williams, Joseph C. “Architectural Practice in the Medieval Mediterranean: The Church of S. Corrado in Molfetta.” PhD dissertation, in progress.