Caroline Bruzelius is a scholar of medieval architecture in France and Italy, publishing books and articles on French Gothic architecture (the Cistercians; St.-Denis; Notre-Dame in Paris) and the medieval churches of Naples. Her most recent book, Preaching, Building and Burying. Friars in the Medieval City (Yale University Press, 2014), focused on how the practices of the new religious orders of the thirteenth century, the Franciscans and the Dominicans: outdoor preaching, visiting homes, and burying laymen in convents, impacted the design and construction process of massive convents such as Sta. Croce in Florence and the Frari of Venice. The construction of these huge structures and their preaching piazzas also had a profound impact upon the urban spaces of medieval Italy.
Bruzelius is 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, such as Visualizing Venice, of which she is also 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.