Welcome to my Web site!
I grew up in Texas, where I attended a small, liberal arts college quite similar to Lycoming. I have an appreciation for the mission and goals of this college, and I find its intellectual environment and community atmosphere stimulating. My training in graduate school took me to various other parts of the country, and even led to study abroad experience, so I feel like I can get along with anyone. We all have something to contribute.
I am responsible for teaching various aspects of the history of Western Civilization, which our current American culture inherits. All my courses cover material dating before c. 1500, except “The Rise of Islam,” which ends with a historically-based consideration of modern issues related to Islam and the Middle East. Students majoring in ancient and medieval history, religion, and archaeology tend to enroll in my courses. Of course, a student does not have to pursue one of these majors to be interested in the subjects I teach and sign up for these courses. Chemistry, creative writing, and communications majors have been in these classes, and I have learned from all of them.
As for research, I am currently at work on a book
manuscript on the Carolingian Spanish March. In the period 778-814 the
Frankish empire of the Carolingians (Charlemagne and his successors)
expanded its political reach south of the Pyrenees into Spain. I seek to
determine the impact of Frankish rule on the area, centered on Barcelona
and now known as Catalonia, especially since it possessed an
established, Christian culture that pre-dated the Muslim conquest of
Spain the early eighth century. Catalonia became Western Christendom’s
frontier on Islam. I have found that Carolingian rulers invented new
ways of making their power felt in a distant province like the Spanish
March; these included political appointments, religious policy, and
legal maneuvers. An important issue is the question of how “Carolingian”
Catalonia was during the ninth and tenth centuries, so the study also
emphasizes local social structures, including the economy, the roles and
status of women, and cultural conditions. By investigating the regional
history of Catalonia, my work can shed light on larger questions such as
the nature of empires, cross-cultural interactions, and the role of
religion in medieval politics.
This site was last updated 01/10/06