Prof. Dr. Aden Kumler
Aden Kumler
Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät
Departement Künste, Medien, Philosophie
Fachbereich Kunstgeschichte


Kunsthistorisches Seminar
St. Alban-Graben 8
4051 Basel

Tel. +41 61 206 63 82

Born in 1974 in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), Kumler studied at the University of Chicago and Toronto and, in 2007, received her PhD in art history and architecture from Harvard University. That same year she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2013. Among other prestigious awards, she has held a fellowship of the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel — NFS Bildkritik/eikones at the University of Basel, and in 2014/2015 she was a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin.

Kumler’s research interests are thematically and historically wide-ranging. Her first monograph «Translating Truth» (Yale University Press, 2011) examined the interplay of manuscript illumination and vernacular texts in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century France and England. Her work also focuses on liturgical objects in the context of practice, ritual prescriptions, and theological concepts during the High and Late Middle Ages, as well as contemporary problems of methodology. A new area of her research explores the influential role of images, art works, and artifacts in the formation of historical conceptions of property, price, value, originality, proof, and authenticity. In all of her work, she is interested in how the material conditions of life shape people’s thought, imagination, and behavior.




  • art, material culture, and architecture of the European Middle Ages
  • medieval image theory and aesthetics
  • illuminated manuscripts
  • codicology
  • interdisciplinary medieval studies


Fridays 11:00-13:00 (in FS 2021 via Zoom). Registration by email to Aden Kumler.