A Hero for Our Times

In what way is Saint Joan of Arc a hero for our age? What do her life and her depictions in art and popular culture reveal to us about how we should understand and emulate our heroes?

In honor of Saint Joan of Arc‘s feast day (May 30) and just one year after the centenary of her canonization, join IHE Fellow Dr. Nora Heimann (a leading scholar on the image of Joan of Arc in French art and culture, and associate professor of art history at The Catholic University of America) and Dr. Jennifer Paxton (medievalist and director of the Catholic University Honors Program) for a reflection on Saint Joan of Arc, her legacy, and her incredible influence on the peoples of France and America.


This event is cosponsored by The Catholic University of America Honors Program.

Nora Heimann is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Art Department. Dr. Heimann is a specialist in European and American modern and contemporary art history, and in the relationship between art, religion, and national identity. Her work experience includes curating exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC), the Knights of Columbus Museum (New Haven), and the Chapin Rare Book Library (Williamstown); and working for curatorial and education departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Minneapolis Museum of Art, and the Städische Sammlung Schweinfurt (Germany).  Her publications include two books: Joan of Arc: Her Image in France and America (2006), and Joan of Arc in French Art and Culture (1700-1855): From Satire to Sanctity (2005), and a variety of exhibition catalogue entries and articles on European and American art from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

Jennifer Paxton is the Director of the University Honors Program and a Professor of History at The Catholic University of America. She was previously a Professorial Lecturer in History at Georgetown University, where she taught for more than a decade. She holds a doctorate in history from Harvard University, where she has also taught and earned a Certificate of Distinction. Professor Paxton is both a widely published award-winning writer and a highly regarded scholar, earning both a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities and a Frank Knox Memorial Traveling Fellowship. She lectures regularly on medieval history at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, and has also been invited to speak on British history at the Smithsonian Institution and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on England from the reign of King Alfred to the late 12th century, particularly the intersection between the authority of church and state and the representation of the past in historical texts, especially those produced by religious communities.