- Head of the Department of Art History
- Professor of Art History and Architecture
European Architecture 1400–1800
Slavery and Architecture
Architecture and Music
Baroque Art and Architecture
Robin L. Thomas specializes in European architecture and urbanism from 1400-1800. Focusing on the architecture of Naples, his interests include early-modern urbanism, the social history of buildings, music and space, and the intellectual formation of the architect. His first book, Architecture, and Statecraft: Charles of Bourbon’s Naples 1734–59 (2013), examined the remaking of Naples under King Charles of Bourbon and addressed the political, social, economic, and cultural importance of the royal building program. His second book project, titled, Palaces of Reason: the Royal Residences of Enlightenment Naples, will examine the palaces of Capodimonte, Portici, and Caserta in light of eighteenth-century ideas of reform. Other publications include articles on the Duca diNoja’s map of Naples, the architect Luigi Vanvitelli as reader and author, the Teatro di San Carlo, architects’ libraries, slavery and construction at the Palace of Caserta, and the guglie of Naples. His research has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, a Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities, a fellowship at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University, and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In recognition of his classroom instruction, he received the College of Arts and Architecture’s award for outstanding teaching in 2014.