Matthew P Canepa
Professor of Iranian Art and Archaeology
About Professor Canepa
Matthew P. Canepa (PhD, University of Chicago) is an historian of art, archaeology and religions. His research focuses on the intersection of art, ritual and power in the eastern Mediterranean, Persia and the wider Iranian world.
Prof. Canepa's new book entitled The Iranian Expanse (University of California Press) is a large-scale study of the transformation of Iranian cosmologies, landscapes and architecture from the height of the Achaemenids to the coming of Islam. His publications include The Two Eyes of the Earth (University of California Press), the first book to analyze the artistic, ritual and ideological interactions between the late Roman and Sasanian empires in a comprehensive and theoretically rigorous manner. It was awarded the 2010 James Henry Breasted Prize from the American Historical Association for the best book in English on any field of history prior to the year 1000 CE. Theorizing Cross-Cultural Interaction (Smithsonian, 2010) studies the phenomena of cross-cultural interaction between the ancient to early Medieval Mediterranean, Western Asia and China. Recent publications include an examination of bronze sculpture in Hellenistic Asia, a restitution and reinterpretation of the Persian palace of Qasr-e Shirin, and a study of post-Achaemenid Persian kingship in Anatolia and the Caucasus. He served as an area advisor/editor for the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity.
Professor Canepa is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and has been the recipient of numerous research fellowships including from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2015-2016), Getty Research Institute (2019 and 2013), the American Council of Learned Societies (2009-2010), the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (2007), and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (2002-2003). In fall 2009 he was invited to be the Michaelmas Term visiting Senior Research Fellow at Merton College, University of Oxford. In 2016 he lectured as Directeur d'études invité at L’École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.