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Graduate Studies at Vanderbilt - Ancient/Medieval

Updated October 9, 2018

Vanderbilt boasts a dynamic group of scholars in Ancient and Medieval history. The faculty represent a range of geographic and chronological periods, including the Roman Empire, Ancient/Medieval Syria, medieval Europe, Judaism, Islam and Asia. The faculty share a mutual interest in reconstructing past through rigorous, source-driven historical reconstruction, with specializations in legal, religious, economic, cultural and military history. They work closely with a distinguished cohort of early modern historians, and in collaboration with the programs in Classical & Mediterranean Studies, the Legal History Seminar, Jewish Studies, Gender Studies, the Pre-Modern Cultural Studies seminar (Robert Penn Warren Center); and the departments of English, French & Italian, and German & Slavic Languages, and History of Art.

We welcome applications from potential graduate students interested both in particular subject areas, but also in the questions and methods shared by all historians of pre-modern societies – how to work with patchy or fragmentary evidence, how to reconstruct the world of culture and symbols, how to push beyond the learned texts that predominate in our records and how to ask meaningful questions about the past.

There is no prescribed graduate curriculum; students are invited to craft their own program within the framework of the History Department Ph.D. requirements during coursework. Particular scrutiny is given, in evaluating applications, to a candidate’s prior preparation (including knowledge of languages necessary to undertake Ph.D. level research) and a candidate’s writing sample. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance.

Current Faculty:

   Ari Bryen (History/Classical & Mediterranean Studies)
   William Caferro (History/ Classical & Mediterranean Studies)
   Leor Halevi (History/Law/Islamic Studies)
   Philip Lieberman-Ackermann (Jewish Studies/History/Law)
   Peter Lorge (History/Asian Studies)
   Tom McGinn (History/Law)
   David Michelson (Divinity/History/Classical & Mediterranean Studies)
   David Wasserstein (History/Jewish Studies)

 Early Modern/Medieval:

   Lauren Clay (History)
   Katherine Crawford (History/Gender)
   Joel Harrington (History/Religion)
   Peter Lake (Divinity/History)
   Paul Lim (Divinity/History)
   David Price (History/Religious Studies)
   Samira Sheikh (History/Religious Studies)

Allied Faculty/Other Departments:

   Elsa Filosa (French and Italian)
   Jessie Hock (English)
   Bryan Lowe (Religious Studies)
   Tracy Miller (History of Art)
   Elizabeth Moodey (History of Art)
   Lynn Ramey (French and Italian)
   Joseph Rife (Classical & Mediterranean Studies)
   Betsy Robinson (History of Art)
   Sheri Shaneyfeld (History of Art)


   Program in Classical & Mediterranean Studies
   Program in Jewish Studies
   Program in Gender Studies

Current Graduate Students in Medieval and Early Modern History:

Kathryn Marshalek, Reformation England
Samantha Rogers, Reformation England
Marina Walters, Reformation England

Anna Young, Masculinity in early Modern England
Jessica Lowe, Germany during the Reformation
Jesse McCarthy, Reformation England
Hillary Taylor, Italy and Reformation
Katie McKenna, Italian Renaissance/Women's Studies
Mohammed Allehbi, late Abbasid history; medieval Islamic history
Taryn Marashi, Abbasid history; medieval Islamic history
Shounak Ghosh, early modern South Asia
Dipanjan Mazumder, early modern South Asia


Recent Graduates

Bortz, Sean (2018). "Thinking with Jews: Jews and Judaism and the Struggle for Orthodoxy in late Medieval and Reformation England"  Instructor of History, Cumberland University

Lazo, Katherine. (2018)  "Rigour upon men's consciences': National Identity, Religion and English Catholicism during the Interregnum"