Sheila Bonde Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Chair of History of Art and Architecture, Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World

I am an archaeologist and architectural historian specializing in the study of medieval sites and their representation. I am currently Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, and Professor of Archaeology. I have excavated in England, France and Israel, and I currently direct the MonArch excavation and research project in northern France at the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, the Carthusian house at Bourgfontaine and the Cistercian monastery at Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work


Re-Presenting the Past:  Archaeology through Image and Text, co-edited with Stephen Houston, Joukowsky Institute Publications no. 2, Oxford: Oxbow Press,  2013.

Saint-Jean-des-Vignes: Approaches to its Architecture, Archaeology and History. Louvain:  Brépols Press, Biblioteca Victorina vol. XV, Turnhout, 2003, with Clark Maines.

Archéologie en Picardie, Soissons : L'abbaye Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Amiens, Ministère de la Culture,  2002, with Clark Maines. (also available in an internet publication:

Glimpses of Grandeur:  Courtly Arts of the Later Islamic Empires.  Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Exhibition Notes, Number 8, Fall 1999, with Aimée Froom.

Fortress-Church:  Architecture, Religion and Conflict in Twelfth-Century Languedoc.  Cambridge, England and New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1994 (paperback, 2007).

Architectural Technology up to the Scientific Revolution:  New Methods and Interpretations (co-authored with Lynn Courtenay, Clark Maines, Robert Mark, Elwin Robison), ed. Robert. Mark, Cambridge:  MIT Press; Sloan Foundation Series, 1993 (paperback, 1994).

Survival of the Gods:  Classical Mythology in the Middle Ages.  Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University, 1987. Graduate exhibition catalogue (supervisor and editor).

Digital Publications:

Saint-Jean-des-Vignes:  Archaeology, Architecture and History of an Augustinian Monastery

Archéologie en Picardie, Soissons : L'abbaye Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Amiens, Ministèrede la Culture,  2002, with Clark Maines. (available in an internet publication:

Visualisation and Knowledge Formation: ViArch International Workshop, “Monks, Time and Landscape: Visualizing Change in Monastic Archaeology,” University of Southampton, 23-24 October, 2008:

“The Virtual Monastery: Re-Presenting Time, Human Movement, and Uncertainty at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons,” with Clark Maines, Elli Mylonas and Julia Flanders. Visual Resources, special internet/print issue devoted to College Art Association session, December, 2009: and


“Performing Silence and Regulating Sound: the Soundscape of the Medieval Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,” in Susan Boynton and Diane Reilly, eds., Resounding Images: Sound and the Visual Arts in Harmony, 700-1500, forthcoming, with Clark Maines.

“Re-Presenting the Monastery: From Ordo to Google Earth,” in Re-Presenting the Past: Archaeology through Image and Text, Sheila Bonde and Stephen Houston, eds., Joukowsky Institute Publications no. 2, Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2013, pp. 21-34, with Clark Maines.

“The Heart of the Matter:  Early Valois Patronage at Carthusian Bourgfontaine” in Patronage: Power and Agency in the Middle Ages, ed. Colum Hourihane, Princeton: Index of Christian Art/ Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013, pp. 76-98, with Clark Maines.

“What’s the Plan?: A Critical Genealogy of Plans of Notre Dame, Ourscamp,”with Clark Maines, and with the collaboration of Kyle Killian, Caitlin Bass and Alexis Coir, forthcoming in Cîteaux.

Consuetudines in Context: Change and Continuity in the Customaries of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons, 1098-1783,”  in Constitutiones et RegulaeCustoms, Rules and Other Texts as Sources for Monastic and Regular Life during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period: Approaches from across the disciplines. Louvain: Brepols Press, forthcoming, with Clark Maines.

“Entre la ville et la campagne: la role d’une abbaye extra muros dans le development d’une ville épiscopale,” with Clark Maines, accepted for publication in La Forme de la Ville: Ville de l’antiquité à la Renaissance, ed., Anne Reltgen-Tallon, Amiens: Université d’Amiens Press, forthcoming.

“The Technology of Medieval Water Management at the Charterhouse of Bourgfontaine,” with Clark Maines, Technology and Culture, 53 (2012) pp. 625-670.

“The Earliest Church at Ourscamp and the Problem of Cistercian “First Churches” in France,” with Clark Maines, and with the collaboration of Kyle Killian, Cîteaux. Commentarii Cistercienses, 62 (2011), pp. 5-35.

"Graduate Humanities Education: What Should be Done?" Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle Review: Special Issue: Broken: The Crisis in Graduate Education in the Humanities, Forum, April 4, 2010, B15-18:

"The Virtual Monastery: Re-Presenting Time, Human Movement, and Uncertainty at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," with Clark Maines, Elli Mylonas and Julia Flanders. (special internet/print issue devoted to College Art Association session ) Visual Resources, Vol. 25 , 2009, no. 4, pp. 363-377.

"Sondages archéologiques à Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp: Bilan provisoire des résultats," Cîteaux. Commentarii Cistercienses, 2009, vol. 60, fasc. 1-4, pp. 239-271, with Clark Maines, Kyle Killian and Caitlin Bass.

"Saint-Jean-des-Vignes de Soissons—utilisation, réutilization et non-utilisation de la pierre lors de la période gothique," in Pierres du patrimoine européen, Économie de la pierre de l'Antiquité à la fin des temps modernes, ed. by Fr. Blary, J.-P. Gély and J. Lorenz, Paris, 2008, pp. 131-142, with C. Maines.

"Le problème d'un dépôt lapidaire archéologique : l'exemple de pierres sculptées du grand cloître de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes," in L'architecure en objets : les dépôts lapidaires de Picardie, ed. A. Timbert with the collaboration of D. Hanquiez [series: Histoire médiévale et archéologie, 21 (2008)], Amiens, 2008, pp. 181-214 (co-authored with C. Maines and D. Roussel).

"L'abbaye cistercienne de Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp : Reconstitution archéologique de sa façade médiévale méconnue," Kunstchronik, 2006, pp. 7-15, with Clark Maines and Kyle Killian.

" Découvertes récentes à l'abbaye d'Ourscamp : carrelages, éléments architecturaux et potentiel archéologique du site," Cîteaux. Commentarii Cistercienses, 2006, vol. 57, fasc. 1-2, pp. 115-129, with Clark Maines.

" La porte médiévale de l'abbaye cistercienne de Notre-Dame d'Ourscamp : Étude dendrochronologique et contexte historique," Revue archéologique de Picardie,3-4 (2006), pp. 1-8. with Christine Locatelli, Clark Maines and Didier Pousset.

"'Ne aliquis extraneus claustrum intret': Entry and Access at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons." in Perspectives for an Architecture of Solitude: Essays on Cistercians, Art and Architecture in Honour of Peter Fergusson, ed. Terryl N. Kinder, Medieval Church Studies 11, Studia et Documenta 13, Turnhout: Brepols/ Cîteaux, 2004, pp. 173-186, with Clark Maines.

"Autour des convers de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons (Aisne): Quelques hypotheses dans le contexte d'une fouille eventuelle," Revue archéologique de Picardie, 3/4, 2003, pp. 103-113, with C. Maines and Kyle Killian.

"Sovereignty and Territory: the Construction of Monastic Domains in the Medieval Diocese of Soissons as a Case Study," Medieval Europe, Basel 2002 (Pre-printed Papers of the 3rd International Conference of Medieval and Later Archaeology, Basel, 10-15.IX.2002), ed. G. Helmig, B. Scholkmann, and M. Untermann, 3 vols., Hertigen, 2002, vol. 1, pp. 453-463, with Clark Maines.

"Soissons médiéval et moderne, l'art de capter les sources, " Archéologia 347 vol. 1, (2001), pp. 50-57, with C. Maines and Dominique Roussel.

"Renaissance and Real Estate: The Medieval Afterlife of the Temple of Diana at Nîmes" in A. Kuttner, A. Payne and R. Smick, eds., Antiquity and its Interpreters, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 57-69.

"Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Context: The Urban Water Management Systems of Soissons" in Wasser: Lebensquelle und Bedeutungstrâger: Wasserversorgung in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, ed. H.-E. Paulus, H. Reidel und P.W. Winkler, (Regensburger Herbstsymposion zur Kunstgeschichte und Denkmalpflege), Band 4, Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner, 1999, pp. 15-36, with Clark Maines.

"A Room with a View: the Cellarer and his Office at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," in Pierre, lumière, couleur: Etudes d'histoire de l'art du Moyen Âge en l'honneur d'Anne Prache, ed. Fabienne Joubert et Dany Sandron, Cultures et Civilisations Médiévales, vol. 20, Paris: Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1999, pp. 199-212, with Clark Maines.

"L'effacement de Saint-Sauveur-de-la-Font: approches à la survivance de l'antiquitè durant le moyen âge," Bulletin de l'Ecole Antique de Nîmes, no. 25, 1999-2002, pp. 57-76.

"A Room of One's Own: Elite Spaces in Monasteries of the Reform Movement and an Abbot's Parlor at Augustinian Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons (France)," Medieval Europe Brugge 1997, Religion and Belief in Medieval Europe, Papers of the 'Medieval Europe Brugge 1997' Conference, vol. 4, ed. By Guy de Boe and Frans Verhaeghe, Zellik, 1997, pp. 43-53, with Clark Maines.

"Technologie de construction des fondations romanes et gothiques," in L'innovation technique du moyen âge, (Actes du VIe Congrès International d'Archéologie Médiévale, Dijon, 1996), ed. P. Beck, Dijon: Errances, 1998, p. 220-223, with C. Maines and L. Kline.

"Un pavement gothique à Saint-Jean-des-Vignes," Archéologia 308 (1995), 40-48, with Clark Maines.

"Seine-et-Marne: Saint-Loup-de-Naud: le prieuré, la maison-forte et le village fortifié.""Deuxième partie. L'enclos fortifié," Bulletin monumental, 153 (1995) pp.184-190, with Clark Maines.

"Le développement du domaine de l'abbaye augustinienne de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes à Soissons de sa fondation vers 1076 jusqu'à vers 1140," Actes du 3e Colloque International de la Société Française d'Archéologie Médiévale in L'environnement des églises et la topographic religieuse des campagnes médiévales, ed. M. Fixot and E. Zadora-Rio, Documents d'archéologie française, no. 46, Paris, 1994, pp. 156-172, with Clark Maines.

"La fouille de la salle capitulaire de l'ancienne abbaye augustinienne de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes,Soissons," Revue Archéologique de Picardie, 3/4 (1994) pp. 77-114, with Clark Maines.

"Seine-et-Marne: Saint-Loup-de-Naud: le prieuré, la maison-forte et le village fortifié.""Première partie. Identification et decouverte d'éléments du couvent," Bulletin monumental, 152 (1994) pp. 361-366, with Clark Maines.

"On a fait aussi deux beaux jets d'eaux: Hydraulics and Gardens at Seventeenth-Century Saint-Jean-des-Vignes," in Actas do Simpósio Internacional: Hidráulica Monástica Medieval e Moderna, Arrábida, 1993, Lisbon, 1996, pp. 269-297, with Clark Maines.

Bilan et perspectives des études médiévales (1993-1999), Actes du IIe Congrès européen d'Etudes Médiévales, Barcelona, 8-12 juin, 1999, ed. J. Hamesse (sér. Textes et Etudes du Moyen Age, 22) Federation of Medieval Institutes in Europe (FIDEM), Turnhout, 2004, pp. 715-718, with Clark Maines.

"The Archaeology of Monasticism: Ten year's work at the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," in Medieval Europe 1992. Pre-printed papers of the conference on Medieval Archaeology at the University of York, 8 vols, York, 1992, vol. 6: Religion and Belief, pp. 83-88, with Clark Maines.

"Le réseau hydraulique de l'abbaye augustinienne de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes à Soissons (Aisne, France): bilan provisoire," in L'hydraulique monastique, milieux réseaux, usages, Rencontres à Royaumont, (Actes du colloque internationale sur l'hydraulique monastique Royaumont, 1992) Grâne: Créaphis, 1996, pp. 193-209, with E. Boyden and C. Maines.

"Saint-Jean-des-Vignes: Une abbaye augustinienne à Soissons" Archéologia, 257 (1990) pp.50-57, with Clark Maines.

"L'abbaye augustinienne de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," Congrès archéologique, 148(1990): Paris, 1994, vol. 2, pp. 589-632, with Clark Maines.

"Centrality and Community: Liturgy and Gothic Chapter Room Design at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," Gesta, 29 (1990) pp. 189-213, with E. Boyden and C. Maines.

"Archaeology and Engineering: The Foundations of Amiens Cathedral," Kunstchronik 42/7 (1989) pp. 341-348, reissued in Lynn Courtenay, ed., The Engineering of Medieval Cathedrals. Studies in Civil Engineering series, vol. I. Hampshire: Ashgate Press, 1998, with Clark Maines and Robert Mark.

"Archaeology and Engineering: The Foundations of Amiens Cathedral," Kunstchronik 42/7(1989) pp. 341-348, with Clark Maines and Robert Mark.

"Carreaux médiévaux mis au jour dans l'abbatiale de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons,"Bulletin monumental 146 (1988) pp. 231-231, with Clark Maines.

"L'eglise et l'abbaye romane de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes d'après les fouilles de 1982-85,"Bulletin de la Société Archéologique de Soissons, numéro hors série (1987) pp. 3-20,with T. Gross-Diaz, S. Dyson and C. Maines.

"Fouilles à l'abbaye de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons," Bulletin monumental, 143.I(1985) pp. 54-58, with Clark Maines.

"Castle and Church Building at the Time of the Norman Conquest" in The Medieval Castle, ed. K. Reyerson and F. Powe. Medieval Studies at Minnesota, volume 1.Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1984, pp. 79-96.

"The Archaeology of Monasticism: A Survey of Recent Work in France 1970-1987," Speculum, 63.4 (1988) pp. 794-825, with Clark Maines.


research overview

My research combines archaeology, architectural history, spatial analysis and digital humanities. I am currently co-director of the MonArch (Monastic Archaeology) research team that focuses on three monasteries in northern France. This project involves excavation, study of surviving architecture and texts, and digital reconstruction and representation. Recent publications and presentations also consider the revival of antiquity in the Middle Ages, and the ethics of representation.

research statement

My research brings together the approaches of archaeology, history, architectural history and spatial analysis. My work has since 1982 involved the ongoing excavation of the abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, France, the Cistercian monastery of Notre Dame d'Ourscamp and the Carthusian charterhouse at Bourgfontaine. I consider not only the buildings of these monasteries, but also their landed domains, hydraulic resources and interactions with the larger urban and rural landscape. I have also published on the role of the individual within the monastic corporation, on early modern monasticism and monastic texts, and on the interactions between liturgy and architecture. I have worked extensively with computer graphic solutions for archaeological recording and architectural reconstructions, and with text encoding of monastic texts to create searchable databases for research.

I have also studied the reuse and reoccupation of Roman architecture in southern France during the Middle Ages. My work aims to change past approaches to classical revival not only by including architecture more centrally, but by considering more fully the importance of the site itself. It also considers  issues of art historical theory as they relate to classicism and the medieval uses of the past. One aspect of this research, an examination of the female monastic community of Saint-Sauveur-de-la-Font, installed in the Roman 'temple of Diana,' has appeared in print.

Recent work funded by the NSF has also been devoted to research on ethical decision-making, and on the ethics of re-presentation.

funded research


National and International Awards:

National Science Foundation, EESE:  Ethics Education in Science and Engineering “Ethical Awareness in International Collaborations: A Contextual Approach”  competition’ (NSF 08-530), proposal number 0933509, PI, 2009-2011 ($399,00).

National Endowment for the Humanities, Collaborative grant, P.I., 2004-2000, “The Virtual Monastery: Integrating Archaeology, Architecture and Text at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes.”   ($300,000)

Distinguished Lecturer, ICMA, 2000-2002

National Endowment for the Humanities, fellow, 1994-95  ($60,000)

George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation, fellow, 1994-95 ($35.000)

 Andrew W. Mellon "Fresh Combinations" grant, 1992/93,  ($12,000) (support for departmental symposium on New Approaches to Landscape)

Fulbright Scholar, (France and Turkey) 1989-1990  ($35,000)

Archaeological Institute of America, featured lecturer, 1989-90

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowships, 1988, 1989, 1990  ($12,000)

Princeton University, Department of Civil Engineering, Visiting Fellow, summers 1988, 1989.

National Endowment for the Arts grant for exhibition and catalogue, Survival of the Gods:  Classical Mythology in the Middle Ages, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, 1986-1987.  ($50,000)

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Summer Institute on the Technology of Historic Architecture, Princeton University, 1986 ($15,000)

Jens Aubrey Westengard Fellowship, 1977  ($5,000)

Hirsch Scholarship for Archaeological Fieldwork, 1975 ($3,000)

Teaching Awards:

Royce Family Professorship in Teaching Excellence, 2004-2007.

Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, Brown University, 2002.

Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship (Junior Faculty award for excellence in research and teaching), 1987

Danforth Award for Excellence in Teaching,  Harvard University, 1982

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows
in the Humanities co-PI, 2009-2011 ($687,000)

National and International Grants and Awards to Support Excavation and Research at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons, Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp and the charterhouse at Bourgfontaine:

Direction des Antiquités, grant subvention, 2011 (15,000 euros); 2009. (8,500 euros).

Ministère de la Culture et la Commission des Monuments Historiques, France, research grant, 1999-2001  (600,000 FFr)

Conseil général de l'Aisne, research grants, 1998, 1999  (15,000 FFr)

Rakow grant, Corning Museum of Glass, 1999 (grant to Robert Brill and Patricia Pongracz) for analysis of excavated stained glass from Saint-Jean-des-Vignes)  ($30,000)

Ville de Soissons, research grants, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001  (15,000 FFr)

Ministère de la Culture, Direction des Antiquités historiques, excavation and research grants, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997 (declined), 1998,  2002, 2004  (5,000-8,000 FFr each)          

Center for Field Research, Earthwatch Foundation, excavation grants, 1987, 1989, 1990   ($25,000 each plus funded research volunteers)           

Médaille d'Honneur, Ville de Soissons, 1987

Brown University internal grants to support research:

Office of the Vice President for Research, Humanities Research Fund, 2014, to support excavation of a royal chapel at Bourgfontaine ($1400)

Office of the Vice President for Research, Humanities Research Fund, 2013, to support research at Bourgfontaine ($1750)

Creative Arts Council Arts initiative, to support  Drawing Connections, Symposium and workshop, with Leslie Bostrum ($8,000)

Creative Arts Council, Fitt Endowment, to support Art and Social Transformation with Eric Ehn and Susan Alcock ($10,000)

Office of the Vice President for Research, Humanities Research Fund, 2012, to support research and CAD reconstruction of the chapelle de la Vierge at Saint-Germain-des-Prés. ($1800)

Office of the Vice President for Research, Humanities Research Fund, 2011, to support hydrology research and excavation at Ourscamp. ($1800)

 Office of the Vice President for Research, Seed Grant, PI  “Mapping Monasticism” 2008-2011, ($28,850)

 Scholarly Technology Group, Faculty Grant (for internet and graphic development), 2001-2002, PI  ($20,000)

 Group Research Project Grant to support the teaching of a research seminar connected to Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, 2001-2002  ($6,000)

UTRA group grant,  2004, “The Medieval Monastery,” collaborative student research on Augustinian monasticism and medieval chapter books ($5,000 plus student support)

UTRA grants, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001 to support collaborative student research at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons   (student support)

UTRA grants, 2009, 2011 to support collaborative student research at Notre Dame d’Ourscamp, (student support)

Watson Institute grant (for Glimpses of Grandeur:  Courtly Arts of the Later Islamic Empires, exhibition catalogue), 1999  ($6,000)

Richard Salomon Grant (New Approaches to Recording a Medieval Monastery) 1998-2002  ($20,000)

Wriston Grant to support research on Medieval Iberia, 1998-1999 (with Professor M. Vaquero)  ($6.000)

Curriculum Development Grants:  HA 191: Water and Architecture, 1997; UC 62: Medieval Iberia, 1999 (with Professor M. Vaquero)   ($5,000)

Wayland Collegium, 1996-97, grant to support research on Medieval Iberia (with Profs. A. Remensnyder, S. Slymovics and M. Vaquero)  ($5,000)

National grants to support Graduate School Initiatives:

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows in the Humanities co-PI, 2009-2011 ($687,000)

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endowment for the Mellon Graduate Humanities Fellows Program (graduate fellowships and curricular grants) PI ( $3,000,000)

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for Dissertation Workshops, PI, 2008-2013 ($568,000)

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for Dissertation Workshops, PI, 2004-2007 ($300,000)

Council for Graduate Schools/National Science Foundation grant to support the establishment of an Ethics Initiative at Brown University, PI, 2006-2007, ($15,000)

Council for Graduate Schools/Pfizer Foundation, PhD Completion Project, PI ($80,000)

Public Recognition:

“Re-presenting the Past:  Material Things and Uncertainty,” Reuter Memorial lecture at Southampton University, England, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, May, 2010. (This lecture was subsequently the subject of a workshop sponsored by the Material Histories Research Group at the University of London School of Advanced Studies, Jan. 2011.)

Un Été à Soissons avec le Patrimoine.  Summer cultural outreach events in Soissons sponsored by the town and based on 25 years of research in Soissons by my research group, 2011.

Médaille d'Honneur, Ville de Soissons, award recognizing my contributions to the town of Soissons, 1987