Laura Chilson-Parks

Dean's Faculty Fellow
List 407, Thursdays 10:00-11:00 am

Biography

Laura Chilson-Parks is a Dean’s Faculty Fellow in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Her research reconstructs the appearance and function of the oratories — small chapels for individual or small group meditation —  built by Philip the Bold and Margaret of Flanders, the duke and duchess of Burgundy. Her close analysis of these oratories seeks to understand Margaret’s participation in the architectural manipulation of space and the senses in service of a hierarchical, and sometimes performative, access to the body of Christ. In “Overlapping Space and Temporal Access in the Chartreuse de Champmol” published in Other Monasticisms: Studies in the History and Architecture of Religious Communities Outside the Canon, 11th - 15th Centuries, Professor Chilson-Parks examines the presence of lay individuals as well as elite prayer spaces within the Carthusian monastery of Champmol in order to suggest a more nuanced adherence to the Rule predicated upon temporal control of overlapping spaces. Her current book project explores how the oratories constructed by the duke and duchess were connected both to one another and to spaces of solitude in distant time and space, through something she has termed ‘resonant experiences’: experiences connected by their facilitation of the user’s retreat into a constant interior space via shared mechanisms.