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 (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, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Charles Rufus Morey Prize, which honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in the English language. 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). Most recently, she guest-edited an issue of the journal Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural (published by Penn State Press), titled “Animating Medieval Art.”
Prof. Gertsman’s articles have appeared in many 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, she was recently awarded a year-long fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to pursue work on her third monograph. She currently serves on the board of directors of the International Center for Medieval Art.
Prof. Gertsman is working on several new projects including the monograph on emptiness in late medieval art, tentatively titled Nothing is the Matter (contracted by Penn State Press); a centennial focus exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art co-curated with Stephen Fliegel, and slated to open in October of 2016; and the book co-authored with Barbara Rosenwein, The Middle Ages in 50 Objects (contracted by Cambridge University Press).
In 2015, she was the winner of the Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Teaching.
To learn more about Prof. Gertsman’s scholarship, please visit https://case.academia.edu/ElinaGertsman
Mather House 317
Ph.D. Boston University, 2004
B.A. University of California, San Diego