Cynthia Robinson

Mary Donlon Alger Professor, on leave Fall 2024


I am committed to an interdisciplinary investigation of the visual, literary, courtly and religious manifestations of cultural and confessional contact and interchange in the Mediterranean world, between 1000 and 1500 A.D., with particular focus on the Iberian peninsula. Recently, and following a very long hiatus, I have also returned to fiction. I anticipate that the scholarly and literary strands will begin to intersect. There may even be cross-pollination.

Research Focus

  • Relationships between religion, literature and art
  • Focused on the Mediterranean World (Islam, Christianity, Judaism), particularly Spain, between 1000 and 1500 A.D.


  • academic articles
    • Arthur in the Alhambra? Stories, Pictures and Nasrid Royal Self-Fashioning in the Ceiling Paintings of the Sala de Justicia.  Medieval Encounters.  14:164-198. 2008
    • Introduction to special issue: "Courting The Alhambra: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to the Hall of Justice Ceilings".  Medieval Encounters.  14:153-163. 2008
    • Preaching to the Converted: Valladolid’s ‘Cristianos Nuevos’ and the ‘Retablo de Don Sancho de Rojas (1415 A.D.).  Speculum.  83. 2008
    • Toward a Poetics of Ornament in Granada's Alhambra: Allegorizing Metaphor.  uqarnas XXV.  185-214. 2008
  • books
    • Imagining the Passion in a Multi-Confessional Castile: The Virgin, Christ, Devotions, and Images in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.  Penn State University Press. 2013
    • Three Ladies and A Lover: Mediterranean Courtly Culture through the Text and Images of the “Hadîth Bayâd wa Riyâd.  Routledge. 2006
    • Under the Influence: Questioning the Comparative in Medieval Iberia.  Brill. 2005
    • In Praise of Song: the Making of Courtly Culture in al-Andalus and Provence, 1065-1135 A.D.2002
    • Islamic Art and Literature
  • chapters
    • Genre Switching: The Hadith Bayad wa Riyad and Mediterranean Courtly Narrative in the 13th Century.  Medieval Arabic Story-Telling: Transmission and Receptivity. Ed. Bauden, Frédéric.  Liège, Belgium. 2008
    • Trees of Love, Trees of Knowledge: Toward the Definition of a Cross-Confessional Current in Late-Medieval Iberian Spirituality.  Interrogating Iberian Frontiers: A Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Mudéjar History, Religion, Art and Literature. Ed. Feliciano, María.  2006

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