Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America

Lauren Van Nest

Graduate Student

Lauren Van Nest ( is a PhD candidate in Art and Architectural History in the Department of Art at the University of Virginia. Her dissertation is titled “Sacral Performance & Extended Royal Bodies in Ottonian Bamberg: The Case of Henry II & Kunigunde (1002–1024),” and is conducted under the direction of Professor Eric Ramírez-Weaver. Her research focuses on liturgical objects commissioned by the rulers of the Ottonian Empire, with a particular interest in examining the relationships crafted between these objects, their ritual environments, and the bodies of their patrons. Lauren has presented her research at the Leeds International Medieval Congress and the International Congress on Medieval Studies held in Kalamazoo, MI. Prior to joining the program at Virginia in the fall of 2017, Lauren completed a Master of Arts at the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She currently serves as a committee member of the Graduate Student Committee of the Medieval Academy of America, as well as a student committee member of the International Center of Medieval Art. She served as co-chair of the Medieval Colloquium at the University of Virginia from 2018 to mid-2020.