Dr. Bruce and PhD Student Ben Bertrand publish their article entitled “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

Dr. Scott G. Bruce, Professor of History, and Benjamin A. Bertrand, PhD Student in History, co-authored their article “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” which was published in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies. Congratulations Dr. Bruce and Ben!

You can access their article here. Below is the abstract:

Monastic reading communities in early medieval Europe had a voracious appetite for the works of the Greek church fathers in Latin translation. This article examines the evidence for the availability of translated Greek patristics in western abbeys from the fifth to the ninth centuries through a survey of surviving manuscripts and monastic library inventories. While there was not yet a canon of officially recognized ‘fathers of the eastern church’ in early medieval Europe, this article shows how western monks favoured five of the six Greek patriarchs singled out as authoritative in the sixth-century Decretum Gelasianum. In terms of genre, they strongly preferred the homiletical writings of eastern Christian authors over their polemical works, because sermons and biblical homilies had greater utility as tools for teaching and preaching. Lastly, this article highlights the fact that the most widely copied Greek church father in early medieval Europe was also the most notorious and suspect thinker in the eastern church: Origen of Alexandria, whose skill as an author of biblical commentaries outweighed his notoriety as a condemned theologian in the eyes of western monks.

Cover of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

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Dr. Turan a guest on the BBC’s The Forum Podcast on Süleyman the Magnificent

Dr. Ebru Turan, Assistant Professor of History, was an expert guest on the BBC podcast The Forum, the episode was entitled, “Süleyman the Magnificent: longest-reigning Ottoman sultan.”

You can listen to the full 39 minute podcast here. Below is the description of the episode:

“The 46-year reign of Süleyman the Magnificent across central Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East was defined by territorial expansion and economic growth, as well as a flowering of art, architecture and culture.

The epithet ‘magnificent’ invites us to believe the Ottoman sultan could do no wrong. But he broke with precedent on several occasions and his private life came in for criticism. So how much does he owe his reputation to his advisers?

Bridget Kendall is joined by Gábor Ágoston, professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington DC and author of many books on the Ottomans, including The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe; Ebru Turan, assistant professor of History at Fordham University. She’s writing a book entitled Last World Emperor: The Origins of Ottoman-Habsburg Imperial Rivalry in the Apocalyptic Mediterranean, 1516-1527; and Marc David Baer, professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He’s published widely on the Ottoman empire, including The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs, which was published in 2021.”

Episode description take from The Forum website.
Image of Süleyman the Magnificent from Wikipedia Commons

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Dr. Comuzzi publishes an article entitled “Guild formation and the artisanal labour market: the example of Castelló d’Empúries, 1260–1310” in the Journal of Medieval History

Dr. Elizabeth Comuzzi, Assistant Professor of History, published her article entitled “Guild formation and the artisanal labour market: the example of Castelló d’Empúries, 1260–1310” in the Journal of Medieval History. Congratulations Dr. Comuzzi!

Below is the abstract:

This article examines artisanal employment agreements from the Catalan town of Castelló d’Empúries from 1260–1310, the period before and just after the formation of the first craft guild in that town. It addresses why craft guilds formed and what advantage guilds offered medieval artisans in contrast to pre-guild systems, with a focus on the market for artisanal training. The pre-guild artisanal labour market in late thirteenth-century Castelló was highly flexible, with a variety of terms and contract types under which craft training could be acquired. Artisans were free to make any agreement they found mutually satisfactory, but they were also at the mercy of the market. Trained artisans were not always the ones with higher resources and power compared to prospective learners. The cloth-finishers’ guild of Castelló closely monitored the market for training in their craft, and standardised the terms and contract formats under which training was offered.

Front Cover of the Journal of Medieval History

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PhD Student Matt Mulhern publishes his article “Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Arc of Crisis and the Origin of U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan” in The Graduate History Review.

PhD Student Matt Mulhern publishes his article “Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Arc of Crisis and the Origin of U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan” in The Graduate History Review. Congratulations Matt!

Below is the abstract:

Zbigniew Brzezinski misrepresented Soviet motivations in their Afghan invasion to pursue his own geo-political agenda in the “arc of crisis” region that became a primary focus for the shift in strategic planning during the Carter administration. Based on State Department documents released in December 2018, in addition to former Soviet-era primary sources from the Cold War International History Project, the article describes how Brzezinski misread Soviet intentions and facilitated a response that later metastasized into something the U.S. could not control once the Reagan administration continued Carter’s arming of the most radical elements of the Afghan rebellion. Despite Brzezinski’s efforts to increase the U.S. footprint in the Middle East having such a consequential impact on American foreign policy during the past 40 years, scholars are only beginning to understand the full weight of these moves during the final years of the Carter administration.

Cover image of the Graduate History Review featuring the side profile of a woman at a desk reading a book
Cover image of The Graduate History Review

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Esther Liberman Cuenca (History Ph.D., 2019) awarded three fellowships

Esther Liberman Cuenca (Ph.D., 2019)

Esther Liberman Cuenca (PhD History, 2019), now an assistant professor at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), has recently been awarded three fellowships. They include a UHV Junior Faculty Grant for summer 2021, a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society 2022-23, and a Junior Mellon Membership at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies for 2022-23. She will spend her time in Princeton revising her Fordham doctoral dissertation into a monograph entitled “The Making of Urban Customary Law in Medieval Britain.” Dr Cuenca has also recently published “Led Zeppelin— ‘Immigrant Song’: Viking Medievalisms and the Afterlife of Classic Rock,” in One-Track Mind: Capitalism and the Art of the Pop Song (London: Routledge, 2022). In 2023, she has an essay forthcoming in Continuity and Change and is serving as guest editor of “Representations of the Medieval in Popular Culture: Remembering the Angevins,” a special collection for Open Library of Humanities.

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Dr. Penry awarded a Rome Prize

Dr. Elizabeth Penry was recently awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for her project “The Italian Renaissance in Diaspora: Jesuit Education and Indigenous Modernities.”

Dr. Penry (second from left, middle row) with Rome Prize winners

From the announcement: 
“The American Academy in Rome announced today the winners of the 2022–23 Rome Prize and Italian Fellowships. These highly competitive fellowships support advanced independent work and research in the arts and humanities. This year, the gift of “time and space to think and work” was awarded to thirty-eight American and four Italian artists and scholars. They will each receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus on the Janiculum Hill in Rome, starting in September 2022.

Rome Prize winners are selected annually by independent juries of distinguished artists and scholars through a national competition. The eleven disciplines supported by the Academy are: ancient studies, architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, medieval studies, modern Italian studies, music composition, Renaissance and early modern studies, and visual arts. The selected candidates were ratified by the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Rome.

Nationwide, the Rome Prize competition received 909 applications, representing 47 US states and territories and 19 different countries. Thirty-three Rome Prizes were awarded to 37 individuals (four prizes are collaborations), representing an acceptance rate of 3.6 percent.” 

For more information on the American Academy in Rome and the Rome Prize, click here.

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Dr. Nana Osei-Opare awarded two fellowships

Dr. Nana Osei-Opare received the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies Mellon Fellowship for Assistant Professors in the School of Historical Studies for the 2022–2023 academic year. He also received the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Fellowship for their Scholars-in-Residence Program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Dr. Nana Osei-Opare

His book project, Socialist De-Colony: Soviet & Black Entanglements in Ghana’s Decolonization and Cold War Projects, is described as “the first monograph to unpack, rethink, and tie Ghana’s Cold War and political-economic projects within larger socialist and Marxist debates from multiple ideological and geographic vantage points.” More information about the project can be found on Dr. Osei-Opare’s faculty profile. Congratulations!

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Dr. Penry wins Best Book Prize from the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies

The “Best First” Book Prize Committee for the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies has voted unanimously to award this year’s prize, which considered first monographs published between 2019 and 2021, to S. Elizabeth Penry’s The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). Drawing on an impressive array of documentation from a long list of archives on both sides of the Atlantic, The People Are King advances a convincing and timely revisionary examination of the processes by which Andean peoples within the viceroyalty of Peru strategically submitted to, collaborated with, and resisted Spanish imperial institutions from the sixteenth-century conquests through the age of revolutions and independence into the modern day. Via an exploration of the long-term development of five Andean highland towns and the ways in which their local populaces forged the social institution of the común to identify and assert their common interests and attain greater agency, Penry brilliantly demonstrates how indigenous peoples appropriated, refashioned, and repurposed Christian and Spanish ideas of natural rights and sovereignty, blending them with pre-conquest Andean principles of community obligation, in order to navigate the legal landscape and manipulate power structures within the Spanish-ruled administrative framework. Her expertly crafted book exhibits a rare level of erudition and historical craftsmanship for a first monograph and promises to serve as both an essential reference work for those working in the field and an aspirational exemplar for all historians.

Congratulations, Dr. Penry!

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Dr. Elizabeth Penry wins Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society

Dr. Elizabeth Penry has been awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. The grant will be used to support her new research project titled “The Italian Renaissance in Diaspora: Jesuit Education and Indigenous Modernities.” Her project reexamines early modern Jesuit education in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Congratulations to Dr. Penry!

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Dr. Susan Wabuda publishes essay in new edited volume, “The Cambridge Connection”

Cover of The Cambridge Connection in Tudor England

In The Cambridge Connection, Susan Wabuda’s essay, “‘We walk as pilgrims’: Agnes Cheke and Cambridge, c. 1500–1549” is about the career of Agnes Cheke as a prosperous vitner. She was one of the few pillars of the emerging evangelical establishment in Cambridge in the sixteenth century. Her financial success in selling wine allowed her to advance the career of her son, the famous humanist scholar Sir John Cheke, and her son-in-law William Cecil, the future Lord Burghley, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I. Agnes Cheke died in 1549, much lamented in a sermon by the famous preacher Hugh Latimer, and her resting place is in the University Church, Great Saint Mary’s, where she was a parishioner.

Susan Wabuda’s previous books include Thomas Cranmer in the Routledge Historical Biographies Series (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), and  Preaching during the English Reformation (Cambridge:  University Press, 2002, 2008).

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