Dr. Lisa Hughes

Pronouns: she/her


Associate Dean (Graduate)

Faculty of Arts

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-3077

For media enquiries, contact


Educational Background

BA French Language & Literature, University of Alberta, 1988

BA Specialization Classics, University of Alberta, 1990

MA Classical Archaeology, University of Alberta, 1993

PhD Art History, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2001


Areas of Research

Roman Visual Culture

My research interests may be considered diverse, but are definitely interconnected. I am primarily interested in visual representations of non-elite women in the late Republic and early Empire. Much of my academic career has focused on the visual vocabulary of non-elite funerary monuments with an emphasis on gender.

My new research project "The Art of Performance Along the Bay of Naples (44 BCE-79 CE)", explores the role of small-scale theatrical performances in the gardens of ancient Roman houses. I am delving into new territory with the use of digital reconstructions to explore possible staging environments. The overall goal is to demonstrate how performance in a garden setting complete with mythic sculpture, wall paintings, mosaics and architectural features can break down perceived social barriers between audience and performers alike.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
ART 513 Experimental Fresco Research Project (Directed Study) Spring 2023
GRST 651.5 Pompeian Data Collection (Directed Reading) Spring 2023
GRST 315 Sexuality and Gender in Pre-Modern Mediterranean Society Winter 2023
GRST 327 Roman Art and Architecture Winter 2023
GRST 551.26 Roman Law (Directed Research) Winter 2023
GRST 651.4 Pompeian Infames in Art (Directed Reading) Winter 2023


TheSPIS, THEater Staging Pompeii Interactive Simulation

This 3D Unity model, based off of Pompeii’s House of the Golden Cupids (VI.16.7) is part of a larger SSHRC IG funded project (2018-22), “The Art of Performance in the Theatre Gardens of Ancient Rome.” This collaborative research venture sets out to explore the possibilities for staging small-scale performances in residential garden settings with the use of digital reconstructions. Users will be able to experience and analyze both audience and performer views within architectural spaces complete with mythic sculpture, wall paintings, mosaics and other examples of material culture.

UCalgary Contributors: Dr. Lisa Hughes, CLARE, Dr. John Aycock, Computer Science, Dr. Brittany DeMone, PhD (Greek and Roman Studies)  Cassandra Eveleigh, MA (Greek and Roman Studies) David Keizer, BSc (Computer Science); Bonnie Piercey, Undergraduate Student (Archaeology and Visual Studies)


  • SSHRC Insight Grant, 2018
  • U Make a Difference Award, "Positive Work Environment and Community", Unversity of Calgary. 2017
  • Excellence in Administrative Support Award (Honourable Mention), Graduate Students Association, University of Calgary. 2016


More Information

Schmeelk Foundation of Canada, Board of Directors