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  • Writer's pictureLogan Quigley

Teaching the ‘Global Middle Ages (O'Mara, Gertsman, & Rhie Mace)

Updated: Feb 24

How do we introduce students to these topics and open up wider discussions about our definitions of the period? Why is it critical that we bring the multicultural Middle Ages to the classroom? In this episode, join Reed O’Mara (GSC) as she interviews Elina Gertsman (Case Western University) and Sonya Rhie Mace (Cleveland Museum of Art) about their experiences co-teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on the “global Middle Ages.”

Reed O’Mara is a PhD candidate and Mellon Foundation Fellow in Art History at Case Western University, focusing on the art of the global Middle Ages, primarily Jewish/Hebrew manuscript painting. Reed is also the chair of the Medieval Academy of America’s Graduate Student Committee and co-editor of the newsletter. Follow Reed on Twitter (now “X”) @romara27.

Elina Gertsman is a Professor of Medieval Art and the Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor in Catholic Studies at Case Western Reserve University, where she directs graduate studies in Art History and serves as faculty in the interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies program. Her research interests include issues of memory, perception, and multi-sensory reception, and she has written on topics ranging from image theory to polyfunctionality of objects. For more information, visit

Sonya Rhie Mace is the curator of Indian and Southeast Asian art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where she has curated galleries of Indian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan art; secured the major acquisition of Mughal and Deccan paintings for an exhibit on Mughal India; and facilitated research, restitution, and reconstruction efforts pertaining to the museum’s holdings of sculptures from Cambodia. Dr. Rhie Mace is also an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University, where she teaches courses on the art of India and global medieval monuments and manuscripts. For more information, visit:

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