Matthew Westermayer


Matthew studied religion at Baylor University (B.A.) before receiving masters from Princeton Seminary (MDiv) and Yale University (MAR). His research focuses on Christianity in late antiquity, with special attention on Near Eastern languages and cultures (Coptic, Syriac, and Greek). His dissertation asks how trees help transmit and structure cultural concepts, and what happens to trees in light of this mediation. The project draws upon the vegetal humanities and media studies in order to illuminate the pivotal but fraught relation between people and the woods in classical and late antiquity.

Committee members: Kim Haines-Eitzen (Chair), Eric Rebillard, Verity Platt

Research Focus

  • Late ancient cultural history
  • History of the book
  • Material culture, theories of the image
  • Ecocritical studies: ancient gardens and trees