Michelle Malina McCoy

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (May 2019-Jul 2019)

PhD, Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh

Michelle M. McCoy holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. She is writing a monograph on the visual and material culture of the astral sciences in middle-period China and Inner Asia, ca. ninth to fourteenth centuries. It examines how the constitutive role of the heavens and the cosmos in visuality as such offers new possibilities for understanding the circulation of knowledge throughout premodern Eurasia and among disparate social contexts. She is particularly interested in the Tangut Xixia (1038–1227), a powerful Inner Asian state that prospered on the eve of the Mongol conquest and left behind the period’s most concentrated record of Buddhist astral deity worship. At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, McCoy joins the Visualization and Material Cultures of the Heavens project. She will take up the post of Assistant Professor of premodern Chinese art at the University of Pittsburgh in fall 2018. McCoy authored the complete catalogue section for Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road (Getty, 2016), winner of the 2017 PROSE Award in art exhibitions from the Association of American Publishers, and has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Fulbright Program; and the Social Science Research Council.


Visual and Material Cultures of Astrology and Astronomy in China and Inner Asia, ca. 10th to 14th Centuries


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Thematic Cluster: Visualizing Cosmologies