Sara Lipton

Associate Professor (Ph.D. in Medieval Studies, Yale University, 1991)
Curriculum Vitae
SBS N-301
Research Interests
My work focuses on religious identity and experience, Jewish-Christian relations, and art and culture in the high and later Middle Ages (11th-15th centuries). I am interested in the relationship between formal knowledge and lived experience, particularly as manifested in the interplay of text and image, and as mediated through the figure of the Jew. I recently completed a book called Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2014).  Dark Mirror examines how changes in Christian devotion, thought, and politics affected the visual representation of the Jew. It explains the emergence of the iconographically identifiable Jew around the year 1080 and brings theoretical coherence to the dizzying proliferation of images of Jews in subsequent centuries.  My current project, entitled "The Vulgate of Experience: Art and Preaching in the High Middle Ages (1150-1300)" explores why and to what effect Christendom invested so much in worshiping the ineffable Word through the material thing.
Scholarly Works

Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Jewish Iconography (New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2014).

"Widzenie narodu—Żyd jako znak i świadek w sredniowiecznej sztuce chrześcijańskiej" in Stosunki chrześcijańsko-żydowskie w history, pamięci i sztuce [Jewish-Christian Relations in History, Memory, and Art], ed. Magda Teter and Urszula Stępień (Sandomierz: Wydawnictwo Diecezjalne, 2013), pp. 53-68.

“Images as Sources for Medieval History,” in The Sources of Medieval History, ed. Joel T. Rosenthal (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 225-242.

“Unfeigned Witness: Jews, Matter, and Vision in Twelfth-Century Christian Art,” Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism, ed. Herbert L. Kessler and David Nirenberg (Philadelphia and Oxford: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), pp. 45-73.

“The Jew’s Face: Vision, Knowledge, and Identity in Medieval Anti-Jewish Caricature,” in Late Medieval Jewish Identities: Iberia and Beyond, ed. Carmen Caballero-Navas and Esperanza Alfonso (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 259-287.

“Images in the World: Reading the Crucifixion,” in Medieval Christianity in Practice, ed. Miri Rubin (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 173-188.

“Images and their Uses” in The Cambridge History of Christianity: Christianity in Western Europe c. 1000 - c.1500, ed. Miri Rubin and Walter Simons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 254-283.

“Where are the Jewish Women? On the Non-Iconography of the Jewess in the Cantigas de Santa Maria,” Jewish History 22 (2008): 139-177.

“Monastery Chic: The ascetic retreat in a neo-liberal age,” Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism, ed. Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk (New York: The New Press, 2007), pp. 241-50.