Areas of specialization: religions of the late ancient Mediterranean world; dress and performativity; history of medicine
Prof. Upson-Saia offers introductory level courses, such as the History of Early Christianity, as well as specialized topics courses on the Roman world, including: Magic, Miracle, and Medicine in Antiquity; "Good" Sex: History of Christian Sexual Ethics; Death, Dying, and the Afterlife in the Ancient Mediterranean World, Banned Books: Introduction to Apocryphal Literature; and Humans and the Environment in Antiquity. With Prof. Morrissey (Philosophy) and Prof. Lehr (Economics), she team-teaches the Health & Humanity CSP course. She also leads the Turkey: Then & Now program, which pairs a semester long course with a short-term field study in Turkey (ancient Asia Minor).
Her early research focused on religious dress and performativity in late antiquity. On this topic, she published two books: Early Christian Dress: Gender, Virtue and Authority (Routledge, 2011) and Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity (Routledge, 2014). More recently, her research focus has turned to medicine and healing in late antiquity. With Dr. Heidi Marx (Univ. of Manitoba), Prof. Upson-Saia founded the international working group ReMeDHe (pronounced "remedy," an acronym for Religion, Medicine, Disability, and Health in late antiquity), a group with 200+ members that enables scholars to share knowledge, support one another’s research, and collaborate on scholarly projects. Prof. Upson-Saia's own research in this area focuses on late ancient representations of bodily deformities, wounds, and scars.