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Kristi Upson-Saia

Professor, Religious Studies

Professor Upson-Saia offers introductory-level as well as specialized topics courses on the Roman world.


  • Office: Fowler 404
  • Email: upsonsaia@oxy.edu
  • Phone: (323) 259-2855
  • Download: CV
  • Office Hours for Fall 2018: on sabbatical

Education: B.A., University of Washington; M.Div., Princeton Theol. Sem.; Ph.D., Duke University

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 EthicsDeath, 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. 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 was 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.  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 that provides a forum in which scholars can share knowledge, support one another’s research, and collaborate on scholarly projects. Prof. Upson-Saia's own research in this area is focuses on late ancient representations of bodily deformities (specifically, wounds and scars).