History of Art and Architecture

Thomas Morton

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Teaching Professor

Area of Specialization

History of Architecture and Urbanism


Constellations: Environment, Identity, Mobility/Exchange, and Visual Knowledge

Architecture, especially its history, is Thomas Morton’s passion. Educated as an art and architectural historian in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of the History of Art, and trained as a field archaeologist with projects in North Africa and Italy, he examines many aspects of Roman architecture and urbanism in his scholarship. He frequently presents his research at professional meetings and universities and for organizations in North America, Europe, and North Africa. His teaching experience is much broader; he has taught the history of architecture and urbanism from prehistory to the present day from a global perspective.

Prior to joining the faculty at Pitt, Morton taught in the Architecture Program at Arizona State University, in the Art Department at Swarthmore College, and in the Growth and Structure of Cities Department at Bryn Mawr College. Morton also served in the Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Morton has an active commitment to service, both at the local and national levels. He served two terms as the national Vice President for Societies of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and was a five-term president of the Central Arizona Society of the Archaeological Institute. As the Vice President for Societies, he oversaw 117 local societies and represented them on the Institute’s Executive Committee and Governing Board. Before relocating to Pittsburgh, he was on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Society of the Archaeological Institute.

Education Details

Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

B.A. (with Honors), The Pennsylvania State University

Selected Publications

‘Constructed Landscapes: Designing Urban Centers in Roman Africa,’ In Beyond Boundaries: Connecting Visual Cultures in the Provinces of Ancient Rome, edited by Susan Alcock, Mariana Egri, and James F. D. Frakes, 281-293. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2016.

'The importance of the sea for the urban armature in Roman Carthage,’ In Paradigm and Progeny: Roman Imperial Architecture and its Legacy, edited by Diane Favro, Fikret Yegül, John Pinto, and Guy Métraux, 123-136. The William MacDonald Memorial Conference at the American Academy in Rome, December 2011. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series, no. 101. Portsmouth (RI): 2015.

‘Meninx – the public buildings,’ In An Island Through Time: Jerba Studies. Volume I, The Punic and Roman Periods, ed. E. W. B. Fentress, A. Drine, and R. Holod, 134-153 and 155-157. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series no. 71. Portsmouth (RI): 2009.

‘Meninx V: the basilica,’ Co-authored by Ali Aït Kaci. In An Island Through Time: Jerba Studies. Volume I, The Punic and Roman Periods, ed. E. W. B. Fentress, A. Drine, and R. Holod, 229-232.  Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series no. 71. Portsmouth (RI): 2009.

Selected Awards

Scholar in Residence, German Archaeological Institute (Berlin), 2017

DAI/AIA (German Archaeological Institute / Archaeological Institute of America) Summer Fellowship in Berlin, 2012

Educator of the Year, American Institute of Architects - Arizona Chapter, 2011

New Faculty Teaching Award, co-sponsored by the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), 2009

Digital Press/Projects

Chancellor’s Circle Update: Campus Tour Transports 1787 Society Members Using Markers of Change
October 2019

Dietrich School Flash Class: “What is Architecture?”
October 7, 2019

Grit is Growth: Uncovering opportunities among failures
Pitt Counseling Center video, September 4, 2019

Access+Ability: A Vital and Inspiring Exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art
Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh, September 2019 Newsletter

‘Walkshop’ Explores Urban Campus Instruction@Pitt
 Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Teaching heroes: Morton adjusts course to the temperament of the class
University Times vol. 51 issue 15: April 4, 2019