Reed O’Mara to Present at the MAA Annual Conference

Big congratulations to Reed O’Mara, whose paper “The Monstrous Script: Instances of Pseudo-Hebrew in Fifteenth-Century German Prints” has been accepted into the Medieval Academy of America’s annual conference, to be held in April of 2021. Reed’s paper developed during Professor Elina Gertsman’s course Medieval Matters: The Monstrous, the Macabre, the Miraculous in the fall of 2019. It deals with issues related to religious identity and cross-cultural exchange in fifteenth-century Germany. The paper focuses on several woodblock prints produced by Christian publishers that depict lettering emblematic of Hebrew in order to promote virulent anti-Jewish stereotypes. Reed’s work places instances of pseudo-Hebrew into their context to show how Hebrew was employed to signal monstrosity and to argue that pseudo-Hebrew resides in the liminal space between the normative and non-normative.