Faculty Directory

Kathryn Barush

Assistant Professor of Art History and Religion

Core Doctoral Faculty
At the GTU since
(510) 549-5010

Dr. Barush received a D.Phil. in the History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford in 2012, which was followed by a 3-year position as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked as a curatorial assistant at the Yale University Center for British Art and was a 2003 recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (through which she pursued a comparative study of painting and pilgrimage in the Buddhist and Christian traditions). 

Dr. Barush's work continues to explore the art and material culture of pilgrimage and the notion of the transfer of “spirit” from sacred sites and objects to artistic representations. Her current book project (under contract with Bloomsbury) critically examines the art and material culture of contemporary pilgrimages with a particular focus on art created after the journey with the intention of memorializing the experience of facilitating a prayerful or meditative encounter for others.  Dr. Barush has recently been awarded the George Greenia Fellowship for Pilgrimage Studies and a grant from the Center for Art and Religion, Berkeley towards research for this project. 

Dr. Barush is on the advisory network for the Yale University Center for the Study of Material & Visual Cultures of Religion, an academic advisor for the British Pilgrimage Trust, a member of the Centre for Pilgrimage Studies, University of York, UK.  

In addition to research on pilgrimage and visual culture, Dr. Barush has collaborated on several major digital preservation, research, and archiving initiatives at CASVA and the University of Oxford.

Degrees and Certifications

DPhil, University of Oxford, 2012
MSt/MA, University of Oxford, 2007
BA, Sarah Lawrence College, 2003


Curriculum Vitae

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Art and Material Culture of Pilgrimage
  • Reconstructions of Pilgrimage Sites and Shrines in Domestic and Urban Spaces
  • Sacred Art (theory and praxis) and Compositions of Sacred Space
  • History of Art and Religion of the British Isles
  • Tolkien and the Visual Arts
Selected Publications
  • In progress: Imaging Pilgrimage: Representations of Sacred Space in Contemporary Art (Bloomsbury)
  • Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790- 1850, (London: Routledge, 2016)
  •  ‘The Root of the Route: Phil’s Camino Project and the Catholic Tradition of Surrogate Pilgrimage’, Practical Matters Journal of Religious Practices and Practical Theology (June, 2016): http://practicalmattersjournal.org/2016/06/29/root-of-the-route/
  • ‘Swords to Shoes: Pedagogy and Pilgrimage Along the Camino Ignaciano’ (with Hung Pham, SJ), Practical Matters Journal (July 2016)
  • A Pilgrim in the Park: Sacred Space in Lewis Miller’s “Guide to Central Park”’, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring, 2013).
Courses Taught
  • RA 1062: Art and Pilgrimage
  • RAHS 2311: Marian Art
  • RAHS 1061-01: History of Christianity in 50 Objects
  • RA-4945: Tolkien and the Visual Arts
  • RALS-2220: Composing Sacred Spaces 
  • SP-2074: Camino Ignaciano (with Hung Pham, SJ)