Dr. Zsuzsanna GulÁcsi
Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, PhD
Dr. Gulacsi is a historian of Asian religious art. In pursuit of a postgraduate education in Central Eurasian Studies and Art History, she came to the United States in 1990 from her native Hungary to study these subjects at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received a double major Ph.D. degree in 1998. After teaching the history of Central Asian Art at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, between 1999-2003, she joined the faculty of the Department of Humanities, Arts, and Religion at NAU in 2003.
Dr. Gulacsi has a broad educational background that prepared her to teach a wide spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses
on the history and function of arts across the Asian continent.
Her courses at NAU contribute to the curricula of the Art History,
the Religious Studies, and
the Asian Studies
programs. From West and Central Asia, her teaching covers Early
and Eastern Christian (Syriac and Armenian) art as well as Islamic
art with special attention to the medium of the illuminated book.
From South, Central, and East Asia, her classes focus on late ancient
and mediaeval Buddhist art. When possible, her courses discuss
the often-neglected Central and Northern parts of the Asian continent,
including the tribal arts of Siberia (from where her own native
Hungarian heritage ultimately derives), the arts of the ancient
Nomadic Steppe Empires, as well as the more recent arts of the
Mongol and Tibetan Empires. Her courses include:
Introduction to Asian Art
Arts of Japan
Arts of China
Writing about Art
Buddhist Art: Visual Language and Religious
Islamic Art: Religious and Secular Arts of
Didactic Arts in Asian Religions
Arts of the Book in Asia: E. Christian,
Manichaean, Islamic & Buddhist
Arts of China and Its Northern Neighbors
Silk Road Arts and Religions
Manichaean Art across the Asian Continent
Dr. Gulacsi is a specialist of Manichaean art as well as the late ancient and medieval arts of the "Silk
Road," a network of trade routes that connected West, South, and East Asia.
Her research focuses on the contextualized study of the artistic heritage of
Silk Road religions, including Buddhism, East Syriac/"Nestorian" Christianity,
and Manichaeism, with special attention to the latter, a now extinct missionary
world religion that existed across the Asian continent between the mid 3rd and
the early 17th centuries. Dr. Gulacsi is the author of 2 books and numerous articles
on Manichaean art, including:
- “Searching for Mani’s Picture-Book in Textual and Pictorial Sources,” Transcultural Studies, 2011/1.
- “A Manichaean Portrait of the Buddha Jesus (Yishu
Fo Zheng): Identifying a 13th-century Chinese Painting from
the Collection of Seiun-ji Zen Temple, near Kofu, Japan.” Artibus
Asiae 69/1 (2009): 91-145.
- Mediaeval Manichaean Book Art: A Codicological Study
of Iranian and Turkic Illuminated Book Fragments from 8th – 11th
cc. East Central Asia. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies
- “Dating the ‘Persian’ and Chinese Style
Remains of Uygur Manichaean Art: A New Radiocarbon Date and its Implication
to Central Asian Art History.” Arts Asiatiques,
58 (2003): 5-33.
- Manichaean Art in Berlin Collections: A Comprehensive
Catalogue. Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum: Series Archaeologica
et Iconographica 1 (Turhout:
Her current research projects include:
- “Pictorial Diatessarons (Gospel Harmonies) in Early Manichaean & Early Christian Art of Syro-Mesopotamia.” Society of Biblical Literature (Art and Religion in Late Antiquity & Syriac Literature Sessions), Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2010 (abstract).
- “A Non-Christian Jesus: Late-Ancient Roots of Manichaean
Jesus Iconography” Society of Biblical Literature (Religion
in Late Antiquity), Annual Meeting, Boston, 2008 (abstract).
- “Dura from the East: Considering Mesopotamian Jewish Biblical
Narrative in Light of 3rd-century Manichaean and Buddhist Analogies” Society
of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion (Bible
and Visual Arts), Annual Meeting, San Diego, 2007 (abstract).
- Mani’s Picture-Book: Searching for a Late Antique
Mesopotamian Pictorial Roll & its Mediaeval Transformation
in Central and East Asian Art. Nag Hammadi and Manichaean
Studies. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming (book prospectus).
Humanities Center Fellow
Society, Franklin Research Grant
Northern Arizona University (3 Intramural Grants)
Japanese Cultural Ministry, "Young Scholar" Fellow (Japan)
Outstanding Teacher and Scholar, Indiana University