Berkeley Art and Interreligious Pilgrimage Project

Dr. Michelle Oing

Dr. Michelle Oing is a scholar of late medieval art, focusing on the intersection of sculpture and performance in Europe. Currently a lecturer in Art & Art History at Stanford, she received her Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Yale University and held the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center. With Dr. J. Christian Greer, she is the co-author of Kumano Kodo: Pilgrimage to Powerspots (2020), an imaginative, scholarly exploration of pilgrimage and contemporary spirituality in Japan. She is currently working on two projects that explore notions of play from the medieval and contemporary eras. The first, Puppet Potential: Late Medieval Sculpture and the Aesthetics of Play, examines the role of moveable sculpture in Northern Europe through the conceptual framework of puppetry, paying particular attention to questions of animation and discovery, as well as borrowing insights from her time as a puppeteer. The second project is a semi-autobiographical meditation on shifting conceptions of “authenticity” on the Camino de Santiago, from the Middle Ages to the present. Other publications cover topics such as articulated sculptures of Christ, bust reliquaries, and carnival masking in medieval Germany.