Christine Zappella Papanastassiou


Christine is currently appointed as a Specialist in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas San Antonio Health and Science Center. Her research collaborations there represent the first intracranial studies of human color perception in art. This collaboration stems from her dissertation, "Monochrome Painting and the Corpo della Compagnia in Andrea del Sarto’s Cloister of the Scalzo," which she is defending in Spring 2022. Focusing on the role that the monochromatic cloister played in supporting socioreligious experience, her dissertation combines critical story-telling with historically grounded analysis to examine the embodied experience of “the brother” as he moves through the architectural complex of his flagellant lay confraternity. Her research on this topic won the Carl S. Meyer Prize of the Sixteenth Century Society and Journal in 2020. 

Christine has held fellowships and internships on the curatorial teams of many renowned museums, including the National Gallery of Art (Washington), the Frick Collection, the Art Institute of Chicago, and, most recently, the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin. Christine holds MAs in Art History from both the University of Chicago and CUNY Hunter College, as well as an MS in Teaching from Pace University (Math Concentration). Christine’s first article, “The Implicating Gaze in Bronzino’s Cosimo I de’ Medici as Orpheus and the Intellectual Culture of the Accademia Fiorentina,” was published in the Spring 2021 edition of Studies in Iconography.

For six years, as a New York City Teaching Fellow, Christine was privileged to teach in one of the country’s most underserved student populations as an 8th-grade public school math teacher. As a member of the Emerging Scholars Committee of the Italian Art Society, she has advocated for diversity in the field by spearheading the Antiracism and Intersectionality initiative and its ongoing digital events series. Her public scholarship, which addresses Early Modern as well as Contemporary topics, is widely available on the web.