Maria Evangelatou is Associate Professor of Mediterranean Studies in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department, at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on the visual cultures of Ancient Greece, Byzantium, and the Islamic world. She earned her BA in archaeology at the University of Ioannina, Greece, and her MA and Ph.D. in Byzantine studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She holds a Diploma in art history from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and a degree in museology and conservation of works of art from the Universitá Internationale dell'Arte, Florence. She has been a postdoctoral fellowships at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington DC, the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Her research and publications focus on visual culture and religious experience in the Eastern Mediterranean and especially in the Byzantine cultural sphere, with special emphasis on the interaction of word and image in illustrated manuscripts, and the construction of female identities through the cult of Mary.