Caroline Bruzelius is a scholar of medieval architecture in France and Italy, and has published books and articles on French Gothic architecture (the Cistercians, St. Denis, and Notre-Dame in Paris) and on the medieval churches of Naples. Her most recent book, Preaching, Building and Burying: Friars in the Medieval City (Yale University Press, 2014), focuses on the religious practices of 13th-century Franciscans and Dominicans and how they impacted the design and construction of convents such as Santa Croce in Florence and the Frari of Venice. These huge structures, with their preaching piazzas, had a profound impact on the urban spaces of medieval Italy.
Bruzelius is also a pioneer in exploring how digital technologies can communicate narratives about the built environment. She is a founding member of the Wired! laboratory at Duke University, a group of faculty and graduate students who integrate visualization technologies with teaching and multi-year research initiatives, including Visualizing Venice, of which she is a founder.
From 1994 to 1998 Bruzelius was Director of the American Academy in Rome. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Antiquaries, and the Medieval Academy of America, and has received numerous research fellowships in the United States and abroad.