I am a Professor of Medieval Art and Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor in Catholic Studies at Case Western Reserve University, where I also direct graduate studies in Art History and serve on the faculty of the interdisciplinary Women's and Gender Studies program. A medievalist, I write on a wide variety of subjects, from image theory to polyfunctionality of objects. My books have tackled macabre murals, manipulable devotional sculpture, and unrepresentability in illuminated manuscripts. Anthologies have addressed questions of liminality, emotion, performance, abstraction, and animation. Recent articles have explored manuscript absences and erasures, materiality & semiotics of medium, figurations of despair, sensorium & imagination, and more. New research interests center on medieval Jewish art and philosophy. My work has been supported by the Kress, Mellon, and Franco-American Cultural Exchange Foundations as well as by the ACLS. In 2020, I was named a Guggenheim Fellow.
Passionate about teaching, I have won both of my university's highest awards for graduate teaching and mentoring. Collaboration undergirds my pedagogy, and in 2017 I launched a series of Mellon-sponsored courses on the global Middle Ages with curators at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Currently I serve as a Councilor of the Medieval Academy of America and chair the Nominating Committee for the International Center of Medieval Art.