My three-month fellowship in the spring of 2020 with the Centre for Advanced Studies "Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages" at the University of Tübingen was focused on revising a monograph titled Roman Identity from the Arab Conquest to the Triumph of Orthodoxy. The volume explores Romanness and related identities in the turbulent period of the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries AD, and is based on my doctoral thesis completed at the University of Cambridge in 2016. My work in Tübingen was focused on three principal tasks. The first priority was to update the work's bibliography and discussion with literature which had appeared in the intervening years. Identity, and particularly Roman identity, has attracted a great deal of scholarly attention in recent years, and the university library's physical holdings and digital subscriptions were critical assets for locating and accessing the latest literature. The second priority was the revision of "Chapter 4: Romans, Christians and Barbarians." Work on this chapter included adding a new section expanding geographical coverage of identities in Dalmatia, Italy, and Africa, and relating scholarship on developments there to trends in the eastern Mediterranean identified elsewhere in the volume. The third priority was to revise "Chapter 5: Social Identities." This involved a complete rewrite of the second half of the chapter, which focuses on "Family, power, and Roman women." This section had not been in a satisfactory state for inclusion in the thesis, so work included incorporating new primary literature -- particularly the Epistles of Theodore Stoudios -- and a reconsidered theoretical approach derived from further reading of secondary literature. I shared this work at two of the group's seminar meetings, each one dedicated to a different chapter, and received very helpful and challenging feedback from my colleagues in the Centre for Advanced Studies, which has led to further improvements on the work since the conclusion of my fellowship.
For more information about Douglas C. Whalin, please click here