Diane J. Reilly earned her BA from Rutgers University in 1990 and her PhD in Art History from the University of Toronto in 1999, after joining the Indiana University Bloomington faculty as a visiting assistant professor in 1998. A leading specialist in western European medieval manuscripts of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, she focuses on the ways in which books and the art found in them act as agents for change and tools for practice. While her early work explored how the pictorial programs created in monastic institutions connected networks of political leaders and powerful clergy in the eleventh-century county of Flanders, her more recent focus has been on the synthesis of art, text, and liturgy in the monastic choir, particularly as expressed in times of religious ferment such as the hotbed of religious reform that existed in twelfth-century Burgundy. Along the way she has investigated the role of manuscripts in monastic pedagogy and the invention of institutional history, the intersection of art and sound, and the use of ritual to shape collective action.
Reilly has served as co-editor-in-chief of the journal Gesta, a publication of the International Center of Medieval Art and the field’s journal of record, as co-chair of the Medieval Academy of America’s 2021 meeting at Indiana University, and as chair of the Department of Art History. She participated in the redesign of the Advanced Placement Art History program, with the specific goal of increasing its global coverage, thus shaping how art history is taught nation-wide at the pre-college level. She has published two monographs, two edited volumes, and a substantial Latin text edition in addition to many peer-reviewed articles. She has also been a Mellon Fellow.