I am an historian of ethnic and cultural identity, gender, migration and military and economic history in the Later Roman Empire and Early Medieval Western Europe, with a focus on Britain and Gaul, and from January-December 2019 I will be a Research Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies, “Migration and Mobility in Late Antiquity” at the Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. I recently completed my doctoral thesis in the Department of History at the University of York. This thesis, Deconstructing Anglo-Saxon Archaeology: a critical enquiry into the study of ethnicity in lowland Britain in Late Antiquity, examined the assumptions and narrative techniques drawn upon by archaeologists when they make interpretations of early Anglo-Saxon material culture in relation to ethnic identity. The general public and the popular media are taking increasing interest in attempts to combine study of material culture with fields such as genetics and stable isotope analysis in study of the migration of pre-modern populations and the relationship of these with modern national identity. My work grapples with some of the unquestioned assumptions which often underpin such research.
More broadly, I work on the history and archaeology of late antique and early medieval Western Europe, specifically Britain and Gaul. My interests are ethnic and gender identity and the interrelation of these with military and economic history, and the philosophical and ethical implications of the study of these fields in the modern day.
I have taught and lectured on a range of subjects, including broad medieval and renaissance survey courses, and dedicated courses concerning late antique and early medieval history and archaeology, as well as historical and archaeological methodology and theory (please see my CV for details), and am always open to enquiries for lectures, teaching or consultancy.
Previous satisfied clients for consultancy work have included English Heritage and Ladbroke Audio (a production house for Audible audiobooks).
I am currently working on a comparative, multidisciplinary socioeconomic survey of lowland Britain and Northern Gaul c. 380-430 A.D. These regions are often noted in scholarly literature to undergo broadly similar changes in a variety of areas (archaeological, economic, urban and rural) yet no explicit dedicated work has been performed to place these changes in direct comparison. A comparative approach to these two regions offers potential to dramatically alter our understanding of the end of the Roman Empire in the northwestern provinces and the formation of the early polities that would become Anglo-Saxon England and Merovingian Gaul.