…2021 – Ph.D, History, Columbia University.
— Dissertation: “Power and Elite Competition in the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 745-612 BC.”
2017 – M.Phil, History, Columbia University.
2016 – M.A., History, Columbia University.
2014 – M.A., Biblical Archaeology, Wheaton College.
2011 – B.A., Peace, War & Defense, History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill….
…Massachusetts (Paper accepted but withdrawn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will present in 2021).
“A Great King Without Rival: The Literary Memory of Sargon of Akkad in 8th-7th Century Assyria as a Background for Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-12.” November 24, 2019, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, San Diego, California.
“Power and Elite Competition in the Neo-Assyrian Empire: Towards a Social Network-Based Model.” November 23, 2019, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting, San Diego, California.
“Removing shirk and jahiliyyah: ISIS’s Destruction of the Pre-Islamic Past as a Rejection of Nationalism.” November 18, 2017, special panel on “The Past in Peril and the Perils of the Past: Ancient History in Mo…
I am a historian of the Assyrian empire, interested in study ancient imperialism, organization, and communication. I completed my Ph.D in 2021 at the Department of History at Columbia University with a dissertation titled “Power and Elite Competition in the Neo-Assyrian Empire, 745-612 BC.” For the 2021-22 academic year, I hold the position of Visiting Professor of History and Political Science at Warren Wilson College. My dissertation examines the careers of Assyrian provincial governors and other mid-level officials. Using several thousand official letters which survive from this period, as well as analytical tools borrowed from the fields of social network analysis, organizational communication, and leader-member exchange theory, I analyze the social connections, status, and career progression of these officials. Understanding empire as a dynamic process enacting power relationships which are created and maintained through communication, I argue that Sargon II greatly expanded the number of provinces as well as the number of officials, increasing competition between them. These structural changes to the empire created an often-vicious competition for status, a decrease in effective communication, and made the king less able to assert control over his officials. Kings attempted to remedy this through special agents, loyalty oaths, and scholars who could test officials’ loyalty through divination, but all of these proved ineffective.