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Richard K. Emmerson

Published June 20, 2015

Richard Emmerson
Visiting Distinguished Professor
Medieval Manuscripts and Apocalypticism (undergraduate courses only as of 2022)

PhD Stanford University
Curriculum Vitae

Richard K. Emmerson is Dean Emeritus of the School of Liberal Arts at Manhattan College and former Professor and Chair of Art History at Florida State University. He has served as Deputy Director of Fellowships at the National Endowment for the Humanities and as Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, and has edited Speculum, Studies in Iconography, and Traditio. A Fellow of the Medieval Academy, he received the Medieval Academy Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies in 2009.

Dr. Emmerson’s research focuses on medieval apocalypticism and its representation in art, drama, and visionary poetry. He has published nine books, including Antichrist in the Middle Ages: A Study of Medieval Apocalypticism, Art, and Literature (1981), The Apocalyptic Imagination in Medieval Literature (1992, with Ronald B. Herzman), and The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (1993, with Bernard McGinn). He has authored more than fifty articles, many studying word-image relationships in medieval illustrated manuscripts. Recent essays include “On the Threshold of the Last Days: Negotiating Image and Word in the Apocalypse of Jean de Berry,” in Exploring the Threshold of Medieval Visual Culture (2012); “Visualizing the Visionary: John in his Apocalypse,” in Looking Beyond: Visions, Dreams and Insights in Medieval Art and Thought (2010); “Framing the Apocalypse: The Performance of John’s Life in the Trinity Apocalypse,” in Visualizing Medieval Performance (2008); “Visualizing the Vernacular: Middle English in Early Fourteenth-Century Bilingual and Trilingual Manuscript Illustrations,” in Studies in Manuscript Illumination: A Tribute to Lucy Freeman Sandler (2008); “A ‘Large Order of the Whole’: Intertextuality and Interpictoriality in the Hours of Isabella Stuart,” Studies in Iconography (2007); and “The Representation of Antichrist in Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias: Image, Word, Commentary, and Visionary Experience,” Gesta (2002).

Dr. Emmerson’s book studying the seven-hundred year history of medieval Apocalypse manuscripts, Apocalypse Illuminated: The Visual Exegesis of Revelation in Medieval Manuscripts, was published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 2018. His commentary on the Apocalypse of Jean, duc de Berry, an illustrated manuscript held by the Pierpont Morgan Library, was published in 2020 by Mueller und Schindler. In 2021 his commentary on another Apocalypse manuscript, British Library Additional 38121, was published by Moleiro as The Picture Book Life of St. John and the Apocalypse. His colleagues, students, and friends have recently published a volume of essays in his honor as Tributes to Richard K. Emmerson: Crossing Medieval Disciplines (Brepols, 2021).

Dr. Emmerson regularly offers the online undergraduate course IDS 2678-0001–Apocalypse: The End of the World in the Arts, which studies how people have depicted the end of the world, from biblical times to nuclear war and the zombie apocalypse:


Please note: Prof. Emmerson is no longer accepting doctoral students.

Emily Tuttle (Co-chair)

Completed Dissertations

Britt Hunter (Co-chair): “The Wellcome Apocalypse: Innovating Pictorial Traditions in the Ordinatio of a Late Medieval Multi-Text Manuscript”
Deirdre Carter
: “Art, History, and the Creation of Monastic Identity at Late Medieval St. Albans Abbey.” (Co-chair)
Sarah Andyshak: “Christ and Exegesis: Visual Interpretation in the Moralized Bibles, Circa 1225-1235.” (Co-chair)
Karlyn Griffith: “Antichrist, Eschatology, and Romance in the Illustrated Harley Apocalypse, Sibylle Tiburtine, and the Tournoiement Antécrist (MSS Harley 4972 and Douce 308).” (Co-chair)
List of FSU Art History dissertations

Graduate Seminars

  • Medieval Apocalypse Manuscripts
  • Medieval Art and Drama
  • Medieval Illustrated Manuscripts
  • Medieval London
  • Visual Narratives