AboutI am a global social, political and economic historian, specialising in medieval south-west Asia and Armenian, Georgian, Greek and Latin primary sources. My research combines texts, material culture, epigraphy, numismatics, climate data and landscape approaches. At the core sits medieval eastern Anatolia, Upper Mesopotamia and Caucasia as a global-historical region, and Armenian material as a crucially decentred and decolonising window on the Global Middle Ages. Through this research I theorise social, political and economic historical themes such as polity formation, urbanisation, hegemony and counterpower, ethnicity and nationhood, methodologically anti-state approaches, and critical political economy.
I received my first degree in Ancient & Medieval History from the University of Edinburgh, before moving to the University of Oxford to complete first a master’s degree in Late Antique & Byzantine Studies, and then a doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Oriental Studies titled ‘Situating the History attributed to Aristakes Lastiverc‘i: The Empire of New Rome & Caucasia in the Eleventh Century’. During my time as a postgraduate student I co-founded the international research network The Long History of Ethnicity & Nationhood at The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), running a number of workshops, conferences and seminar series. My first postdoctoral position was as Past & Present Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, with the research programme ‘Hegemony & Counterpower: Approaches to Global History in Medieval Caucasia’. Following this I was appointed programme manager at the Armenian Institute, London, before taking up my current post as Lecturer in Global Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh.
My current research project is titled ‘“The Fate of Unjust Cities”: Commercial Revolution, Global History & the Abandoned City of Ani, 900-1400’. This radical global history of the abandoned city of Ani in central South Caucasia, straddling the border between the republics of Turkey and Armenia, situates the city’s emergence, development and decline between the tenth and fourteenth centuries in macro regional and interregional transformations, especially the Afro-Eurasian Commercial Revolution and the Mongol world-empire. The project draws on Ani’s rich material remains, particularly the large corpus of monumental epigraphy, as well as numismatics, ceramics and architectural remains, supplemented by Armenian, Georgian, Greek and Islamic (Arabic & Persian) literary sources. Exploring and theorising the political economy of different state-systems, especially long-term histories of commercial capitalism, as well as the agency of subaltern classes in processes of urbanisation, the project touches on global historical themes relevant across time and place.
EducationUniversity of Oxford DPhil. Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Title: ‘Aristakes of Lastiver’s History in Context: New Rome and Caucasia c.1000-1071’
October 2014 – September 2018
University of Oxford MPhil. Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
Thesis: ‘Situating the Seljuq Turks: Huns, Skythians and Kaiserkritik in East Roman Historiography, c.1050-1100’.
October 2012 – June 2014
University of Edinburgh MA Hons. Ancient and Medieval History
Thesis: ‘Royal Administrative and Legislative Policy towards the Peninsular Nobility in the Kingdom of Sicily, c.1130-1189: Crises & Responses’.
September 2008 – May 2012
Work Shared in CORE