Elina Gertsman

Associate Professor

Elina Gertsman

Professor Gertsman specializes in Gothic and late medieval art. Her research interests include issues of memory and perception; uncanny animation of inanimate objects; medieval image theory; performance/performativity; multi-sensory reception processes; late medieval macabre; materiality and somaticism; and medieval concepts of emotion and affectivity. Many of these topics are explored in the broad range of graduate and undergraduate courses she teaches at CWRU.

Prof. Gertsman is the author of The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Performance (2010) and Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (forthcoming in 2015). The Dance of Death, which was awarded the Medieval Academy of America subvention and the Samuel H. Kress Research Award from the International Center for Medieval Art, won the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America for the best first book in medieval studies in 2014. Worlds Within was awarded the Millard Meiss Publication Grant and the Samuel H. Kress Research Award from the ICMA. Prof. Gertsman is the editor of Visualizing Medieval Performance: Perspectives, Histories, Contexts (2008) and Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History (2011), and co-editor of Thresholds of Medieval Visual Culture: Liminal Spaces (2012).

Her articles have appeared in numerous peer-reviewed collections and journals such as Gesta, Studies in Iconography, and Art History. A recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Kress Foundation, Prof. Gertsman currently chairs the Lectures and Programs Committee of the International Center for Medieval Art, serves as an occasional reviewer for several fellowship-granting organizations, and participates in the Medieval Academy of America’s mentorship program.

Prof. Gertsman is working on several new research projects including the book on emptiness in later medieval art and the guest-edited issue of the journal Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural (published by Penn State Press), tentatively titled “Animating Medieval Art.”

To learn more about Prof. Gertsman’s publications, please visit https://case.academia.edu/ElinaGertsman

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Mather House 317


Ph.D. Boston University, 2004
B.A. University of California, San Diego