MemberNicholas S.M. Matheou

I am a doctoral candidate in Oriental Studies at Pembroke College, Oxford, with the thesis title ‘Aristakes of Lastivert’s History in Context: New Rome and Caucasia in the Era of the Seljuq Invasions’. I read Ancient and Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, and completed an MPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at the University of Oxford. My interests range widely across East Roman and Caucasian social history of the central medieval era. My particular research focus is the interplay between historical identities and their socio-political, economic and cultural contexts, and the ways in which we can abstract from theorised social history to better inform radical-democratic politics. To this end I am co-convener of a research network on the long history of identity, ethnicity and nationhood, see:

MemberMateusz Fafinski

I am a historian of Late Antique and Early Medieval West with a particular interest in the use of Roman legacy as a governance resource. In the past I have worked on travel and trade in Early Medieval Northern Sea basin, as well as literary reception of classical archetypes in British literature. Now my main project investigates the use of Roman assets (especially infrastructural ones) as governance resources in Late Antique and early Anglo-Saxon Britain; the social impact as well as the role that the Roman infrastructure played in the Early Medieval economy and politics of the island make it a important but also rarely problematized topic. I also work extensively in the area of Digital Humanities, exploring spatial presentation of written sources.

MemberRobin Whelan

I am currently Lecturer in Mediterranean History at the University of Liverpool. I am a cultural historian of late antiquity and the early middle ages. My research and teaching focus on the later Roman Empire and its early medieval successors, with a particular interest in issues of religious diversity, social identity, ethnic communities, and political culture. My first book, Being Christian in Vandal Africa (University of California Press, 2018) is about the consequences of church conflict in post-Roman Africa (modern-day Tunisia and Algeria). My current project considers how Christian ideology reshaped the representation and practice of governance in late antiquity. Before coming to Liverpool in January 2018, I was Hulme Humanities Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (2014-2018), and a temporary Lecturer in Early Medieval History attached to various Oxford colleges (2016/17).

MemberPeter Crooks

My primary research interest is in Ireland in the period 1171–1541 and, arising from that, in the wider ‘English world’ or ‘Plantagenet empire’ of which Ireland formed an important part. Before returning to Trinity in 2013, I was a Past and Present Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research and a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. I am currently completing a monograph entitled ‘England’s First Colony: Power, Conflict and Colonialism in the Lordship of Ireland, 1361–1460’. I am the principal editor of CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244–1509 (, a reconstruction of the Irish chancery rolls destroyed in the 1922 cataclysm at the Four Courts. A three-volume print edition of CIRCLE will appear with the Irish Manuscripts Commission. In September 2013, I co-founded with Professor S. Duffy the biennial Trinity Medieval Ireland Symposium (TMIS), whose first volume is to appear in 2015: ‘The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth’. I am also interested in ‘empire’, not least as a means of subverting or complicating the narratives of centralization and uniformity that have dominated much research on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Europe. These are the centuries normally classified as ‘late medieval’, a problematic term used more for the purposes of sub-disciplinary gate-keeping than for any real meaning that it holds. The challenge of research on this period — sandwiched as it is between the ‘high medieval’ and the ‘early modern’ — is to understand and describe its historical developments without resort to narratives of either decline or anticipation. So long as ‘medieval’ is understood to be a chronological descriptor (and a Eurocentric one at that), rather than a value-laden term with an implicit developmentalist agenda, then its use need not foreclose on meaningful structural comparisons, whether synchronic or diachronic in perspective. I essayed a general interpretation of England’s empire, which adopts such perspectives, in ‘State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages’ (Past and Present, no. 211). In July 2014, together with David Green and W. Mark Ormrod, I co-convened the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, which took as its subject ‘The Plantagenet Empire, 1259-1453’ (the proceedings will appear in 2016). My work on England’s late-medieval ‘empire’ has sparked a research interest in the history of empires and colonialism more generally. I am currently editing a major collection of essays entitled ‘Empires and Bureaucracy from Late Antiquity to the Twentieth Century’ with Timothy H. Parsons (Washington in St Louis).

MemberJames M. Harland

I work on the history and archaeology of late antique and early medieval Western Europe, specifically Britain and Gaul, with a focus on processes of transformation and ethnic change. My broader interests lie in ethnic identity, transformation and continuity, and military and economic history, in addition to the philosophical and ethical implications of the study of these fields and their reception and misuse in the modern day, drawing upon continental philosophy and literary theory to explore these concerns. My doctoral thesis was a critical historiography of the study of ethnic identity through archaeological means in late and post-Roman Britain, making use of ethnic sociology and continental philosophy to examine and interrogate the epistemological foundations which underpin this subject of study. More information about my research, publications, CV and teaching can be found on my hcommons site, here.

MemberSam Barber

I study the material and visual cultures of late ancient and early medieval Europe, with a special focus on iconographies and architectures of authority in the post-Roman successor states. My doctoral dissertation is a cultural history of palaces between the third and the tenth centuries CE. Though a constant across this period, palaces underwent dramatic changes architecturally and institutionally. Drawing on theories of landscape and space, I use palaces as a lens for examining shifts in concepts of legitimate authority and the relationship of ruler and subject. In addition to my dissertation, I am also interested in the history of medieval art more generally (including its historiography); urban studies and architectural theory; and concepts of identity, ethnicity, and community in the Early Middle Ages.