Professor Lauren Hackworth Petersen received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She specializes in ancient Roman art and architecture. She has also done extensive research in Greek and Etruscan art and assisted with the excavations at the Etruscan/Roman habitation site at Cetamura del Chianti, Italy. Professor Petersen is a recipient of numerous awards, including an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship, a Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, and a Fulbright Grant. Her recent book, Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome (a co-edited project with Patricia Salzman-Mitchell, University of Texas Press, 2012), provides an interdisciplinary examination of the potentially charged roles of motherhood in ancient daily life, politics, art and architecture, and rhetoric. Her other book, The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006 (paperback edition in 2011). This study vigorously challenges elite models that have dominated our understanding of non-elite Roman monuments and offers interpretations of artistic commissions by former slaves through a variety of approaches. Her articles appear in art historical and Classics journals, including The Art Bulletin, Arethusa, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, and Source: Notes in the History of Art. She is currently working on two book projects. One focuses on the lives of Roman slaves and the other on the religions and rituals of ancient Rome.
Professor Petersen's research and teaching interests include art in the everyday life of ancient Romans, visual culture in Pompeii, the art of commemoration, classical art revivals and their meanings, ancient constructions of sexuality, and contemporary feminist theory.