Mateusz (Matt) Ferens

232 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Madison WI 53715
Preferred pronouns: he/him/his
Joined WID: 2020

Cross-cultural exchange in the Eastern Mediterranean; Art and visual culture of Byzantium


Matt was born in Poland and came to the US at a young age. He grew up in a rural town in upstate NY near a Russian community and has since been interested in immigrant experiences in the US. His parents had both studied art in Poland and inspired Matt to pursue an arts education. At UW Madison he is working on his dissertation in art history.


  • PhD, candidate, Art History, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • MA, Art History, University of California Riverside
  • BA, Applied Design, San Diego State University

Research Description

Matt's interests include Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, theories of optics and perception, and cross-cultural interaction. He is currently writing his dissertation on the formation of the post-Byzantine world in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Through his work, Matt engages in such topics as border theory, mythistory, collective memory and cultural trauma, the archeology of thought, and other topics related to cultural transition and survival. He thinks broadly about issues related to art, architecture, and material culture in order to understand how our past histories manifest themselves in our world today.


  • Art History Grad Forum (president, 2020-21
  • Byzantine Studies Association of North America (member)
  • International Center of Medieval Art (member)
  • St. Photios Orthodox Theological Seminary (lecturer)
  • Graduate Early Modern Student Society (member)