I am an historian of medieval and early modern Europe, with a particular emphasis upon the intellectual, political, and ecclesiastical history of Carolingian and post-Carolingian society, c. 800-1100. In addition to serving as the program coordinator for the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies, I also am a lecturer in Harvard's Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, and a visiting assistant professor of medieval European history at Mt. Holyoke College. Previously, I taught at the College of the Holy Cross, Smith College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Chicago, from which I received my Ph.D. in history in 2007.
I am working on two book projects. The first, Seeing and Believing: The Visions and Temptations of Otloh of St. Emmeram (under contract with the University of Toronto Press), explores questions of religion and identity through the writings of the eleventh-century monk and raconteur Otloh of St. Emmeram, whose greatest works wove together monastic spirituality with visionary fervor and autobiographical self-reflection. In the second, Persuasive Politics: Intercession in the Early Middle Ages, I explore the role of intercession (third-party advocacy) within early medieval political culture, analyzing how the interpersonal and inter-group relationships between rulers, intercessors, and petitioners were depicted in iconography, historical accounts, letters, and official documents. I argue that intercession was not simply a tool of "feudal" politics (as many scholars have assumed), but a fundamental expression of early medieval rulership, not only because of its practical benefits to its participants, but because it offered a compelling model of political interaction in which hierarchy and comity worked in integrated, connected, and mutually-reinforcing ways. In my recent article "Deēsis Deconstructed: Imagining Intercession in the Medieval West," I investigate the phenomenon of intercession from an art-historical perspective, focusing upon the adoption and re-configuration of a Byzantine iconographic theme within Western European visual culture.
In the coming year, I hope to complete translations of two tenth-century works—the Res gestae Saxonicae, an ecclesiastical and political account of the Saxon/Ottonian lands by Widukind of Corvey († c. 974), and the sacred biography of John of Gorze written by Abbot John of St.-Arnoul. I also have begun working on a history of the Burgundian kingdom (often referred to as "trans-Jurane Burgundy) in the ninth through eleventh centuries.