Lydia Yaitsky KertzAdjunct Lecturer of English and Comparative LiteratureEnglish & Comparative Literature602 Philosophy Hall212-854-3215
Areas of Interest :Medieval literature and material culture, medieval romance, aesthetics, genre theory, history of the book, history of emotions, premodern constructions of gender and race
BA Emory University (2004), MA Florida State University (2009), PhD University of Pennsylvania (2016), Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow in Medieval Studies at Fordham University (2017). Professor Kertz specializes in medieval literature and material culture, genre theory, and history of the book. Her research traces the cultural reception of romance in late medieval England, paying particular attention to the formal and aesthetic aspects of the genre. Her recent essays have appeared in Word & Image and the Journal of the Early Book Society. As a Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow at Fordham, she has been working on her monograph, Aesthetics and Politics of Luxury: Experiencing Medieval Romance, and conducting archival research on figurative tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book investigates political and gendered uses of luxury in romance literature and narrative art objects, and argues that while the changes in material technologies of medieval textual production eventually break down the exclusivity of romance by opening the texts to wider reading publics, the positive representations of luxury in the visual programs of narrative art objects—such as fourteenth-century Parisian ivory caskets and fifteenth-century Flemish tapestries—continue the perpetuation of aristocratic privilege.