Affiliated Faculty

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson Ph.D.

Sarah Thompson joined the faculty at RIT as a visiting professor in fall 2005, and as an assistant professor in fall 2009. She earned her doctorate in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation, “Inventing ‘Gothic’: Notre-Dame d’Étampes and Architectural Change in the Île-de-France, 1130-1160,” analyzed issues of design process, construction, and style in twelfth-century French buildings.

Dr. Thompson’s research interests include the design process, meaning, and historiography of Gothic architecture. She has recently published on the ruins of Fountains Abbey, and is currently at work on an article exploring the concept of Saint-Denis as the first Gothic building. Future plans include a book on images of Gothic architecture and their relation to the shifting meanings of Gothic.

Dr. Thompson regularly teaches the Survey of Western Art and numerous electives, including Early Medieval Art and Architecture, Late Medieval Art and Architecture, The Gothic Cathedral, The Illuminated Manuscript, Medieval Craft, Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome, and The Gothic Revival. For the last three years, she has also led summer classes for RIT students in Paris.