Joseph Williams

PhD Candidate in Art, Art History & Visual Studies
| CV || contact |

Joseph Williams is a Ph.D. Candidate in Art History at Duke University. Under the guidance of Dr. Caroline Bruzelius, he has studied 12th- and 13th-century architecture in Southern Italy, with a particular focus on construction techniques and pan-Mediterranean exchanges of specialized technology. Williams holds a BA from Bates College and a Master’s degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Williams’s dissertation Mediterranean Trade and Architectural Production: The Church of S. Corrado in Molfetta (Apulia) ca. 1100-1300 CE considers how the expanding trade and communications of the medieval Mediterranean transformed the industry of large-scale church building. Through a mixed method of construction archaeology and comparative analysis, he examines the financial structures, building process, and technical specializations revealed by the written and material evidence of a single church. Williams has received a number of awards and fellowships to support his research, including a Phyllis W. G. Gordan/Lily Auchincloss/Samuel H. Kress Foundation pre-doctoral Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome (September 2016 – July 2018).

A long-term collaborator in the Wired! Lab at Duke, Williams uses various digital technologies in his dissertation, including a GIS (geographic information system) to trace patterns in the use of specific architectural techniques. As project manager of the Kingdom of Sicily Image Database, Williams has researched and edited information relevant to the historic images and buildings featured on the website, coordinated a student team to seek out relevant image collections in the United States, and organized institutional outreach, including a site visit to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Williams is currently training new collaborators in the use of the database and participating in the presentation of the website at conferences.


Introduction to Art History


The Alife Arch

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Database

Publications & 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. “Mediterranean Trade and Architectural Production: The Church of S. Corrado in Molfetta (Apulia) ca. 1100-1300 CE.” PhD dissertation, forthcoming.